Excerpts for Fran With Four Brains


Franny also liked school. Her teacher, Miss Shelly, was great, and she always kept the kids busy with lots of challenging projects.

Already that year, they had spent time studying dinosaurs, poetry, and even ancient Egypt, which Franny really enjoyed...even though her extra-credit project ate a custodian.

Miss Shelly later made Franny unzip the mummy and release the custodian unharmed, although Franny protested and said that everybody knows mummies eat people every once in a while and that custodians should know better than to get too close.

Great teachers like Miss Shelly always keep a little pressure on, and every day after school, Franny had to make time for her homework.

Some days it was easy, like when it was about electricity, organs, or strange chemical reactions. Some days it was hard, like when it was not about monsters, or atomic radiation, or electronic brains.

But no matter how long it took, Franny also had to make time to play with her lab assistant, Igor. (He wasn't a pure Lab. He was also part poodle, part Chihuahua, part beagle, part spaniel, part shepherd, and part some kind of weasely thing that wasn't even exactly a dog.)

Franny had learned that not paying enough attention to Igor was dangerous. When he got too lonely, he tended to misbehave.

And Igor knew when Franny needed attention. He was really good at sensing when her schedule was getting too tight, and he was always trying to figure out ways to make her laugh. Sometimes it was juggling chain saws, sometimes it was alligator wrestling, sometimes it was wrestling alligators with chain saws.

Recently, he started dressing up like Franny and imitating her and that would always make Franny laugh so hard she could hardly breathe.

Always, that is, except when Franny felt overwhelmed by the additional load of her extra activities. Copyright © 2006 by Jim Benton.