"Baddy? That's right, ain't it?"
"Oh Miss Chappel, it is, it is!" Anæsthesia had had little to be happy about lately, but Addy's correct answers were producing smiles on the young lady's face that were as genuine and spontaneous as they were beautiful. She had not come unprepared, however, and had thought long and hard about the difficulties and inconsistencies around the English language when you really sat down and thought about how to teach someone to read and write it.
"But ain't th' letter there at th' end," she pointed to the 'y', "what makes that 'eeee' sound? So, that's 'E'?" Somehow, she thought 'E' looked different, without the tail. But maybe that was what made a letter bad? It looked like one letter but sounded like another?
The young teacher shook her head sadly, as if she were beholding the sight of a once good young man who, tempted by the ways of sin, had strayed from the path, and was now on his march to the gallows.
"I am afraid, Miss Chappel, that poor "Yuh" is one of the naughtier letters. He started off faithful and true, and at the beginning of a word always sounds "Yuh" - but in the middle he often turns into a "iy", as in 'trying, and then by the end, goes totally to pieces, sometimes an 'eee' as in Addy, sometimes a "Yuh" again, as n Pay."
"Like th' Apach' sittin' in th' rocks, plain as day, only just ya can't tell 'em out from th' rest 'cause he looks just like th' rocks?"
It took Anæsthesia a second to get her drift, but then she nodded enthusiastically. "Yes, these naughty vowels camouflage themselves just like the Indians! Whereas our friends "buh" "duh" and "kicking kuh" always stand up brave and true, in full view, just like our brave soldiers in blue!"
She did frown a little at the analogy though. "However, although they are rather naughty, 'a' 'eee' 'i' and 'o' and 'yuh' do at least have their uses, unlike the useless red man and his squaw, and our language would be so much less poetical and interesting without them." she pontificated.
And so the lesson went on, Anæsthesia varying the pace using little cards on which she had written different letters, and practicing writing some of the words they explored on the slate until, in what seemed like an instant, the little chime on her watch sounded: for it was a very clever watch: and she pulled it out with a little cry of "Oh, is that an hour already? Goodness!"
Still, she felt satisfied with what they had achieved in 60 tiny minutes and had to admit to herself, she had probably learned a lot more about teaching in the last hour than Miss Chappel had learned about reading and writing.