EVERY GOOD BOY DOES FINE by Tucker Leighty-Phillips

One day, Ms. Packer gets frustrated with Benjamin and places a refrigerator box around his desk. You’re staying in there until you get your act straight, she says. After that, we don’t hear from Benjamin for a while. Ms. Packer writes music scales on the board. E-G-B-D-F, she writes. Every Good Boy Does Fine. That’s a way to remember it, she tells us. She brings in a cart with musical instruments; bongos, recorders, maracas. She passes them out at random. We bang on our instruments, or blow in them, or rattle them. Class is fun. We make lots of noise, more noise than Ms. Packer has ever let us make, or any other teacher, for that matter. She writes on the board again. A-C-E-G. All Cars Eat Gas, or All Cows Eat Grass. Pick one, she tells us. We like to remember things in this way. It makes memory a little game, thinking of those cows in the field, all the good boys out there. Benjamin doesn’t get an instrument, but at the end of the day, Ms. Packer lifts the box from around him, ending his sentence. She places the box in the corner behind her desk, says she’ll save it in case she needs to use it again. She does, often, and it seems those days are when she lets us play the loudest. 

Tucker Leighty-Phillips is a writer from Southeastern Kentucky. His work has been featured in the Adroit Journal, The Offing, Passages North, and elsewhere. If you enjoyed your visit to Tucker Leighty-Phillips’ stories, please sign the digital guestbook at the following link: https://www.tuckerlp.net/guestbook/twostories