Bertney Learns Maths

Bertney Learns Maths
A Jump Into Learning! Super Story (Ages 5-8)

“Mama, Mama, Mama!” yelled Sean as he ran into the kitchen holding a school book.
“Who’s Mama?” Bertney asked with a bewildered look on her face. She had no idea who that was.
“It’s you, silly,” Sean explained as he took the quarter Bertney was holding out of her hand. “And this isn’t candy.”
Bertney didn’t believe him, but she knew better than to argue with Sean. He was very, very smart and used lots of big words that made Bertney want to take a nap.
“I need help with my homework,” Sean said using one of his big words again. Bertney had to think very hard to understand what he meant, but she was almost certain she got it.
“You are in the home, and you want to do the work?” she asked him cautiously.
“It’s for school, Mama. These math problems are hard.”
Now Bertney was really lost, and she still doesn’t know who Mama is. There was nobody else in the room.
“Did y’all have to do pre-algebra when you was in school?”
“Pre-algebra?” Bertney was pretty sure Sean was having a stroke because he wasn’t making a lick of sense. Papa told her people talk funny when they have strokes and that’s why grandpa goes to McDonald’s with Jesus now. Bertney loves McDonald’s.
“I’m s’posed to add these letters together, but I only know how to add numbers. You gotta help me, Mama.”
Bertney thought really, really hard. She wasn’t a grow’d up, but she was the big kid, and big kids always help little kids. Bertney took the paper from Sean and stared at it until she thought her eyes were going to pop right out of her head. She wondered if being able to read might help, but it was too late for that now.
And so Bertney concentrated the hardest she’d ever concentrated on anything in her life. Even ice cream. It was then that she began to see the machine’s code reveal itself as everything turned into green numbers and hieroglyphics:
This world wasn’t real. The universe is nothing but turtles on top of turtles. Mr. Jason always gave her happy pills before he touched her special place. Papa was stealing all of her money. Sean is a Furnch Fry. SEAN. IS A FURNCH FRY.
“Oh, god, get her off. She chewed right through his arm!”
Where did Papa come from? Bertney thought. And why didn’t she know kung fu anymore?
“The blood! There’s so much blood. I told you this is why we needed one of those raptor pens from Jurassic Park! Make a tourniquet. We gotta break it off.”
Bertney was even more confused now. If this is what homework is like, no thank you. She’ll stick to coloring books.
“Papa, what’s for dinner?”
“Dammit, Bertney. We’ll get McDonald’s later. Let Papa work!”
“McDonald’s!” Bertney squealed with delight. Another best day ever living with Papa.
“I hope I never, ever grow up,” Bertney told the ambulance man she let in the door. He seemed to be in an awful hurry for some reason which was another reason why Bertney never wanted to grow up.
“I like going places nice and slow,” she said proudly to the doorknob as it grew horns and smiled back.
“That’s right, Bertney, that’s right. We do everything slowly…”
“I bet y’all are made of chocolate.”
“No, wait, NO.” CRUNCH.

The End.

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Photos: HGVC/AKM-GSI