Christmas break dawned cold and crisp for Ms. Edna. The flamboyant fifth grade teacher began her week as she always did with grocery shopping at Rosauers foods. Though she rarely diverged from her shopping list, Ms. Edna was charmed by the low price, vibrant color, and rich scent of the boxes of tangerines. Meeting her shopping budget was a simple matter of moving the pickles, coconut milk, and Tab from her list and replacing them with a box of Tangerine King premiums.
As soon as Ms. Edna arrived home she hung her keys on the key hook, put away her groceries, and broke into the box of citrus. She had wisely set aside 65 calories in her morning diet, just the right amount for the large ripe tangerine at the top left of the box. Edna peeled the fruit and inhaled the mist that wafted when her fingers penetrated the peel. She picked every piece of white rind from the fruit and then separated the slices into perfect halves. And then a strange thing happened. In the exact center of the tangerine was a brilliant gold ring mounted with a bright yellow orange gem. Naturally, Ms. Edna placed the ring on her finger and finished her delicacy.
Ms. Edna spent the afternoon grading her papers, preparing her lesson plans, tidying her house, and reading a touching romance novel cover to cover all the while glancing at the remarkable ring adorning her finger. At 10:00 she turned out her lights and fell asleep in 10 minutes. And then a stranger thing happened. A loud crash and a louder orange glow awoke Ms. Edna. She jumped out of bed and grabbed a broom from the laundry room before heading to the bathroom and the source of the glowing light. As she flung open the bathroom door Ms. Edna's world stopped. Standing before her was a stocky, pitted, orange man with an equally orange entourage. "Welcome my betrothed, you have wisely accepted the Tangerine King's marriage proposal and, henceforth, shall bask in the luxury and extavagance of my citrus realm!"
"No I won't!" shouted Ms. Edna and lambasted the Tangerine King with her broom.
Ms. Edna didn't come back to work on Monday, January 5th but her students found their graded papers and a sub and who had received lesson plans from Ms. Edna. Each student also found a perfect tangerine in their lunch box that day.