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The principal of the school I was in was barging towards me looking purple. I asked “Where Princeps?”
“He’s over here. He needs to apologize and SO DO YOU!”
“For making your principal mad.”
I understood and said sorry. The principal settled down and said “Just get out.” So that was what Princeps and I did. But Princeps regretted leaving. “I gotta go talk to him!” Princeps said. “I gotta make sure you get in this school!” I felt happy that Princeps would do that for me, but I didn’t think the principal would like it very much if I went in there again. “Yourself.” I told Princeps and I sat on the curb. Princeps smiled at me and left. I stayed on the curb and waited for a while. When I had decided what to go and do, I went and I did it. I went to talk to the real rug rat, Jessica Treasure. Jessica was hanging out by a big tree with her “friends” I decided we could become friends if we forgot our rocky start and began again. I went up to Jessica and said “Hi!” Jessica looked up and said “Ugh. Look, girls it’s the rug rat!”
“I want to be friends” I told her. She looked at her entourage and gave them a sly smile. Some of them shrugged. “Idiots.” she mumbled and whispered in each of their ears. They all went “Oh!” and gave me sly smiles. Jessica turned back to me. “Sure, I’ll be your friend!” she suspiciously said. In a trice, she got up and grabbed my hand. Princeps had come back by now and Jessica steered me towards where he was standing. He said “Oh! There you are, Allie! I was looking for you. The principal said you could stay! Why are you with Jessica Treasure?” He said that last part a little more softly. “Friends!” I told him, and he made a face. “Jessica has a… er… reputation of not being nice to people. The girls that follow her around only pretend to be her because she’s pretty.”
“Friends?” I asked Jessica.
“Oh, of course!” she told me, but I was suspicious anyway.
“Of course I mean we’re friends!”
“No, you are mean?”
“Me? No!” And we walked off. People stared at us furiously. Some people were scared. Most looked at us in disgust. I heard whispers: “Ugh. It’s Jessica and her new ‘friend.’” and “Why does Jessica keep convincing people to follow her and be just as rude as she is?” Princeps was following us. I could tell that some people liked Princeps and some didn’t. But he seemed to be nonchalant about it all. There were whispers saying “It’s Princeps! He’s so cute!” and “Look, it’s Princeps. Why is he so nice to everyone, including Jessica?” I liked that Princeps was nice to everyone. I didn’t know what those girls meant by “He’s cute” because according to my studies, cute was a word people used to describe things like babies and dogs. Princeps was not a baby or a dog, so I kept thinking. Princeps probably used to be a baby, but I wasn’t so sure he used to be a dog. So I kept thinking. People also liked the looks of cats and rabbits and hamsters. I kept thinking. Princeps wasn’t a cat, he didn’t have a tail, he wasn’t a rabbit, his ears were too small. Could he be a hamster? I didn’t study much on hamsters, mostly big animals like cats, dogs, rabbits, and humans. Princeps was definitely a human, but humans didn’t trigger the cute factor. Could he be a human and a hamster? I didn’t know that, so I kept thinking. Maybe! He could be some cross between a hamster and a human! Then I actually started believing it. Wow! I had discovered a new species! My face lit up. And Princeps was the first member in the species! Jessica jerked my arm and I was brought back to the real world. But I kept thinking. Ok, so I didn’t actually know if Princeps was half hamster or not, the only person who would know that would be Princeps. Oh! I could ask him! So I did. “Princeps, you half hamster?”
“What?” He answered with a look on his face. So I repeated the question. “Um no, I am not half hamster.” My face fell. That’s when Jessica realized Princeps was following us. She stopped dragging me by my wrist and dropped me. My wrist hurt. She plastered on a smile that anyone could tell was fake. She looked at Princeps and said “Hi Princey-poo!” Princeps groaned “Wanna go to the park after school?”
“Sorry, I’m going to the park with Allie after school.” But he didn’t look very sorry.
“Allie? Who’s she?” Jessica looked like she was just about ready to hunt me down in a couple seconds. I gulped.
“Allie is the wonderful girl you were just dragging by the wrist. She glared at me. I gave her a nervous smile while holding my wrist. “Oh, you mean the rug rat.”
“Friends!!” I screamed at her.
“You didn’t really think we were friends, did you?” I hung my head. I felt Princeps’ hand patting me on the back. I lay down, and I heard “Allie! Allie!” I opened my eyes and everyone was gone. I looked for the person calling my name and I saw Princeps behind me. He was smiling and he said “C’mon, Allie. Let’s go to the park. There, I can teach you some new words!” I asked “Everyone where?”
“School’s over, Allie.” Princeps told me and we went to the park. Someone else was going to the park, too. I just didn’t know it yet.
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