2 February 2014
A substitute teacher named Ms. Ferenczi had arrived in a fourth grade class in a rural town named Five Oaks, Michigan. The students of Mr. Hiblers class found her very weird but yet intriguing. They never had Ms. Ferenczi substitute before and without even introducing herself, she declared that the class was in need of a tree and began sketching one on the whiteboard; it was an " A large, leafy, shady, deciduous. . .oak" (Baxter, 277) tree. Throughout the story Ms. Ferenczi does lesson plans but finds them dull and combines the assigned work with more and more bizarre stories about her family generation, her world voyages, the universe, eternal life, and all sorts of natural wonders. The students had never met this substitute before, and we are told "she didn't look usual" (Baxter, 277), however, the classmates are fascinated by her stories.
The class is careful when their usual teacher comes back to not expose what's been going on with the substitute teacher in his absence. As the days go by turning into weeks, Ms. Ferenczi returns to the classroom. This time she appears with a box of Tarot cards and starts to tell the future for the students. A boy named Wayne Razmer ends up pulling the death card asking what it means, she lightheartedly tells him, "That one? That one means you will die soon, my dear." (Baxter, 286) Wayne reports everything to the principal, and around lunchtime, Ms. Ferenczi was gone for good. The narrator, Tommy, confronts Wayne for reporting the case and
getting Ms. Ferenczi fired, which results into a fistfight. Within the afternoon, the class is combined with another class and everyone is back on task...