Friday, 13 February 2015

Jimmy Murphy and the Difficult Problem (part 2)

 Professor Snip opened the second box, took out the creature within and placed it on the plinth.  It was a dark creature, much larger than the nicolasturgeon and had a rather lugubrious look to it.

'Now,' he said, 'this is an alexsalmond.  Can anyone tell me anything about it?'

Kezia's hand shot into the air once more.  Professor Snip looked all around the classroom then said, with a sigh, 'Yes, Miss Dugdale?'

'Please sir, the alexsalmond originated in the far north of the country, but migrates to the far south every few years before returning to its native habitat.  It has been known to reshape the landscape in the past, but it's currently back in the far north, looking to take over new territory.'

'Very good, Miss Dugdale.  You omitted to mention that, while it's generally even-tempered and quite approachable, it can also be quite savage.  Now, let's see, who shall we have to try and banish it?'

'Ah've beat wan o' they before,' said a voice from the back of the classroom.

'Really, Miss Curran?  And when would that have been?'

'Last year, sir, ah'm sure it wis.' said Mags.

'Well, Miss Curran, according to your records for last year this class has not previously attempted to banish an alexsalmond, hence today's lesson'

'Oh.  Oh, hang on, it wis a frack so it wis.  Ah defeated wan o' they.'

'Miss Curran, while I agree that your class did indeed attempt to banish a frack, your records show that you were absent that day.  Now, shall we get on?  Let's see, Mr Murphy, you have been very quiet this lesson.  Let's see what you can do'

Jimmy stood up, a tall, slender boy with a scar in the shape of a crate on his cheek.  He pointed his wand at the alexsalmond.

'Irnbrutality!' he said, and ducked. The alexsalmond chuckled.

'Mr Murphy,', said the professor, 'why did you duck?'

'Sir, I've heard alexsalmonds throw eggs at their opponents.'

'No, Mr Murphy.  While it has been claimed before, it has been proven that alexsalmonds do not throw eggs.  Try again.'

Jimmy stood there, his mind a blank.

'Whatsyourplanb', whispered Alastair, who was sitting behind Jimmy.  The alexsalmond frowned, then chuckled again.

'Mr Darling, I'm sure Mr Murphy is quite capable of coming up with his own ideas.  And in any case, that curse, while quite effective in the past, has proven less so recently.  Come on Mr Murphy, we haven't got all day.'

Jimmy raised his wand again.


'Again, Mr Murphy, that curse has lost its effectiveness. Any more ideas?'

'Voteanyonebutsnp!'  The alexsalmond guffawed.

The professor sighed.  'Come now, surely you can come up with something better than that.'

Jimmy thought for a moment.  'Enaitchessimus!'

'Mr Murphy, given that Miss Dugdale tried that one against the nicolasturgeon and failed, what on earth made you think it would work here?  Do try to have a thought of your own.  Last chance.'


'Yes, well I can see we're not getting anywhere, are we?  You tried that one against the frack last year, and it wasn't successful then either.'

Professor Snip picked up the giggling alexsalmond and put it back in its box.

'Well, that's the end of this lesson.  For homework I want you all to think of at least five ways to oppose the alexsalmond and the nicolasturgeon.  And I do not want to see any copying or plagiarising.  If I find any evidence of this, you will be expelled.  Class dismissed!

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