It is seven in the morning and mother walks to Noortje’s room. Apparently, that sleepyhead is still asleep, she thinks. she opens the bedroom door and says: ‘Wake up honey. It’s time to get up, breakfast is already on the table. In an hour you will be able to go to school and today you will receive your first exams results.’
Noortje opens her eyes and sits up. She feels fine, even if it is kind of exciting to get her results for the first time.
‘Oh dear, is it so late,’ and jumps out of her bed. Looks around and wonders where her clothes are. ‘Oh yes, they are on the chair in the corner. Stupid,’ she whispers and runs to the kitchen for breakfast.
‘Well, I understand you want to go to school and that you like it so much but, eat your breakfast first and then you can fresh up and brush your teeth. That’s just as important’
‘Yes, but Mom, I mustn’t be too late for school.’
She quickly eats her sandwich and drinks her glass of milk empty.
‘I have to go now, mom. Look I ate the sandwich and drunk my milk.’
‘But honey, the school will only start in an hour. You know you must freshen up first. Go to the bathroom!’
Noortje understands that it is better to do what Mommy wants and goes to the bathroom. When she is finished, she quickly puts on her shoes. Before she goes to school, she wants to go into the garden to greet the animals.
‘Mom, I really have to go now,’ she says and runs outside.
Mother watches her tenderly. She knows that she cannot stop her and decides to wake her up a little later in the future.
Outside, Noortje looks around. It is quiet around the lake. The wind plays with the reed and makes it rock back and forth. Perhaps the swans are still angry with me and she is peering thoughtfully to discover the crow. She hasn’t seen him in a while.
Suddenly a sound makes her look up and she thinks it comes from the big tree.
Her eyes wander over the many branches and to her surprise she sees a very strange beast sitting on a branch. She looks at him carefully. She has never seen such a strange bird. Not even in her animal book and there are quite a few in there.
That weird beast has a peacock’s tail, an owl’s body, and a coot’s beak.
‘What kind of bird are you,’ she asks. ‘Why don’t you say anything, have you ever lost your tongue?’
‘I am an Owl Peacock Coot.’
‘A what … How do you pronounce that? An Owl Peacock Coot, well it will be. Have you seen the crow?’
‘I don’t interfere with that,’ he says.
‘Oh, and the swans, have you seen them?’
‘I don’t interfere with that,’ is the answer again.
‘Never mind, I must go to school now,’ and she runs to the kitchen.
‘I thought you were already going to school. Where have you been,’ asks Mommy?
‘In the garden, but the swans are not there and there is a strange bird that does not interfere with anything. I wish I were a Fairy.’
‘Just keep on dreaming honey. Come pack your backpack, then we walk to school together,’ mother replies.
Noortje is already quite used to school. Her friend Mellie has a seat next to her, but as always, she doesn’t talk very much. She does not know what is wrong with her, but Noortje likes her.
‘We are getting our results today,’ Noortje whispers.
‘I know. My mom had to go to school and spoke whit the teacher yesterday. I’ll tell you right away. I have all low grades. My mom says it will get better if I don’t dream so much. Has your mom or dad also spoken with the teacher?’
Noortje thinks. Mother said nothing about it. She shrugs and shakes her head. ‘No, not that I know.’
Before the lunch break, the teacher hands out the results, except to Mellie. She is told that her mom already has the results.
‘Remember to be careful with your script, make sure it stays well-ordered. Okay, now you can all go outside.’
Outside, Noortje tries to comfort Mellie. Then a group of girls approaches them. At the front is a girl who always takes the other in tow. The group is known for their bullying behaviour and this time their target is Mellie. She smiles meanly at her and whispers in Mellie’s ear. ‘You are so stupid. My mom says you have all low-grades on your list,’ and she gives Mellie a big push.
‘Stop it, leave her alone,’ says Noortje.
‘Do you want a push too. Come on girls, she’s as stupid as Mellie!’
The girls start kicking and pushing Mellie and Noortje. One of them takes Mellie by the hair and pulls it. Suddenly the teacher intervenes and takes them apart.
‘Are you all completely mad. Who started this?’
‘Noortje, just ask the others,’ says the bully girl and the others nodded.
Noortje denied and the teacher wants them to shake each other the hand and never, ever do that again.
‘I’ll still get you,’ whispers the biggest bully to Noortje.
Noortje is also incredibly angry. She would like to punish them for what they did to Mellie.
‘Mellie, go to the teacher. I’ll be there in a minute.’
Ahead, she sees the group giggling and she feels a wave of anger bubbling in her body that makes her shake. She puts her hand forward and calls out:
SEMAXELOOHCS RIEHT NO SREBMUM-WOL EVAH SLRIG ESOHT LLA THAT EKIL DLOUOW I
Noortje suddenly feels ridiculous. Nothing happens and she grumbles to herself. ‘Stupid girl. There is no such thing as magic. Act normal, silly girl.’
After school, all children are picked up by their parents, but Noortjes mom is late. The teacher stands next to her and looks just like she through the window where mom stays. Eventually, she sees Mommy coming and her joy is even greater when she sees Dad is walking next to her. Yes, she is sure, that is Daddy. She flies into his arms and they walk home together.
The next morning
Noortje walks together with Mommy to school. Suddenly they stop when they see parents around the teacher. One of the parents is even angrier than the other.
‘You have to explain to me why all these children have bad numbers,’ shouts the mother of the biggest bully.
The teacher does not understand. She reviews the reports one by one. Indeed, there are all unsatisfactory numbers in the reports.
Noortje starts to giggle and knows that her plan has worked out.
Mellie stands next to her and is relieved that she is not the only one who has only failed.
‘It is their own fault, they should first check their report before declaring someone else to be a fool,’ Noortje whispers.
The teacher promises the parents that she will correct the figures and that she will try to find out where the mistake lies. Of course, the teacher cannot find out what is happened, and it will always remain a mystery how these figures have been wrongly described in the reports.
Mellie also gets her report again and shows him with pride to Noortje.
‘From now on you must do your test a bit better, do you promise?’
Mellie nods and promises that she will pay more attention in the future and that she will no longer daydreaming so much. She hugs Noortje and says: ‘Thank you.’