Disclaimer: Star Trek and characters are Paramount's property, I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. Any original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. Copyright 2005 by SterJulie. Rated G.
Nyota, Janny, and Chrissy each arrived at the center at the same time with the same bags. They greeted each other excitedly and reached into their bags to pull out their Power Princess dolls.
Nyota pulled out Seraphina, the dark-haired princess whose brown-toned skin was perfectly set-off by the crimson gown she wore. Nyota turned her doll this way and that so the holographic threads in the fabric could shimmer under the lights.
Janny pulled out Celestina, the blonde princess with the shimmery blue gown.
"Hey!" Chrissy cried, also pulling out a Celestina doll. "You were supposed to ask Santa for the Princess Angelina doll!" Chrissy spat at Janny.
"My parents thought Celestina looked more like me!" Janny shot back.
"Does not!" Chrissy yelled. "You don't gots curly hair like me! Celestina looks like me!"
"How can we play Power Princess wifout Angelina?" Nyota asked, not that anyone was listening to her.
"Tell Santa to take her back!" Chrissy demanded.
"I can't!" Janny insisted. "I won't see him 'til next Christmas!"
"What seems to be the trouble?" Mr. R asked.
"Janny brought the wrong doll!" Chrissy said crossly.
"But this is the doll I got for Christmas!" Janny explained.
"She can't share it for show-and-tell," Chrissy demanded.
"Why not?" Janny cried.
"Because I'm sharing my doll first!" Chrissy retorted.
Mr. R gently took the dolls from the feuding girls and put them on a shelf.
"I think perhaps we should not have show-and-tell until you are both calmed down," Mr. R explained.
Nyota began to cry as she handed her doll over to Mr. R.
"Nyota?" he asked. "Now, why are you crying?"
"We were gonna share them together," she wailed. "Now I don't wanna share!"
Mr. R shrugged and added Serafina to the pair of Celestinas.
* * *
The girls sat with their arms crossed and their eyes cast down as the boys shared their treasures.
Spock shared his new blue sweater. "My mother made this for me all by herself, and she used two needles to make it. It's a pretty blue, just like her eyes."
Lenny held a frame up to his chest. "My granddad took me back to Georgia," he began excitedly, "an' when one of the mares started to foal, he let me help! I got to see the baby horse come out of its mama and it was all yucky and everything. An' my granddad said that, since I helped him, an' since the colt was born on Christmas, that he would be my present! I got to give him a name and everything."
"What did you name him?" Jimmy asked.
Lenny looked at the picture proudly before turning the frame around to show everyone. "He didn't come down no chimbly, but I named him Santa anyway." Everyone giggled, then they oohed at the sight of Lenny hugging a spindly, wet, black colt with a triangular shaped spot on its forehead. Lenny pointed to the white patch and said, "That's his Chrissum tree."
Jimmy showed his latest starship model. It was not a toy but an authentic Starfleet model of the new chapter in starships. Monty shared his new erector set along with the motor he built himself. Hikaru brought in a planter box he had received from his obaasan (grandmother). He had planted radishes on Christmas Day and there were already small green bits dotting the surface.
Then it was Baby Pavel's turn. Mr. R set the infant down on his belly in the midst of the children.
"What's the baby gonna share?" Hikaru asked.
"Watch," Mr. R instructed.
Pavel opened his wide eyes and looked at all the children. He rocked on his belly and flailed his arms.
"You can do it," Mr. R encouraged.
Pavel got up onto his hands and knees and rocked some more. Mr. R clapped his hands and held them out to the baby. Pavel cooed happily and began to move, slowly at first, then faster as he gained confidence. When he reached Mr. R, he pulled himself up to his knees by pulling on the teacher's trousers.
"Yay!" some of the children cried as they clapped.
Pavel for his part grinned.
Mr. R scooped the baby up and sat him on his knee. "Now, children," he warned, "because Pavel can crawl and pull himself up, we will have to be extra careful and watch out for him. Understood?" Everyone nodded in response.
Jimmy looked at the sullen girls. "Aren't they gonna share, Mr. R?" he asked.
Mr. R looked over at the girls. "Are you ready to share, girls?" he asked. Chrissy and Janny exchanged acidic stares. Nyota looked over at the other two, then sadly shook her head.
* * *
The rest of the day went on as usual. At lunchtime, Nyota dragged the two girls to the Time Out Bench (that also served as the Discussion Bench when one was not sent there as punishment). They came to an agreement and decided to ask Mr. R if they could share their dolls after recess. But when they came back inside, they made a startling discovery.
One of the Celestine dolls was missing!
* * *
Well, there was a great uproar over whose doll was missing, and whose doll was left on the shelf. Janny accused Chrissy of stealing her doll because Chrissy was mad that Janny brought the exact same thing for show-and-tell. Chrissy could prove that the doll on the shelf was hers because her mother always signed the back of Chrissy's doll with her name, the date she received it, and who gave it to her. Sure enough, it was Chrissy's doll on the shelf, but that didn't prove who took Janny's doll.
Mr. R was very good at making every day occurrences into a lesson, so he put three desks and five chairs in the front of the room. Spock was the judge because he was a good listener and could be trusted to make a fair decision. Janny sat at one desk to the left of Spock and Chrissy sat at another to his right.
"Pick someone to help you, Janny," Mr. R ordered.
"I pick Jimmy," she said immediately.
"Chrissy, you pick now," Mr. R said.
Chrissy looked around. She wanted Spock, but he was the judge. Hik and Nyo were too little, she thought, and Monty didn't play with her so much. "I pick Lenny," she said at last.
The two boys went to sit with the two girls while the other three (Pavel was asleep) sat in three little chairs that Mr. R called the Juror's Box.
"Now what?" Lenny asked.
"Now you help Chrissy to prove that she didn't steal Janny's doll," Mr. R explained.
"How do I do that?" Lenny puzzled.
"You ask Jenny questions, then Jimmy gets a chance to ask her questions," Mr. R explained. "Then Jimmy asks Chrissy questions, then you to ask her some questions. Then the jury members talk to each other and say what they think happened--who stole the doll? Then Judge Spock listens to all the questions and to everybody's answers and then he makes a ruling."
"A ruler?" Jimmy asked.
"No," Mr. R said patiently. "He tells everybody what he thinks happened and says who has to be punished for taking the doll."
* * *
And so it began. The testimony from the girls agreed. They both received the same doll for Christmas. They both arrived at the school at the same time. They both got in trouble for fighting about the dolls before classes began. Mr. R had to take both dolls away from the girls and put them on the shelf, along with Nyota's doll. They both did their lessons along with everyone else, ate their lunches at the same time, went to the Discussion Bench at the same time, and came back into the building at the same time. At no time was either of them out of sight from the other.
So if Chrissy didn't take the doll, who did?
"Judge Spock, what is your ruling?" Mr. R asked after all the questions were asked and answered and the jury had time to give their verdict.
Spock thought and thought. "Well," he began, "since we can prove that the doll is Chrissy's, and we know that the two girls were always together, logic tells us that Chrissy didn't do it. She did not take Janny's doll, so there is nothing to punish her for. But that does not solve the mystery. Who took Janny's doll?"
"What should we do next?" Mr. R asked the group.
"Did anaone look fer the doll?" Monty asked.
At that moment, a small voice was heard from the far corner of the room. All the children raced over to the chair to investigate.
There sat a very pleased Baby Pavel chewing on Princess Celestina's fingers
"Pow!" cried Baby Pavel as he raised his hands above his head. "Pow!"
"The baby took the doll!" the children cried out.
Mr. R reached out and scooped Pavel into his arms.
"Remember when I said we would all have to keep an eye on the baby now that he can crawl and pull himself up?" Mr. R asked. "Somehow he climbed into this chair and pulled the doll off the shelf."
"Why didn't we see him earlier?" Janny asked.
"Cuz you and Chrissy were too busy fighting over a dumb ol' doll," Lenny pointed out. "No one saw Pavel curled up in the chair asleep wif it."
"So, do we punish Pavel?" Chrissy asked.
"Does that seem right?" Mr. R asked.
"He's just a baby," Hikaru observed.
"He didnae know ana better," Monty added.
"So what do we do now?" Jimmy asked.
Mr. R turned towards the girls. "Maybe the girls are now ready to share their dolls," he suggested.
Chrissy, Nyota and Janny exchanged looks, grinned and grabbed their toys.
"This is Power Princess Celestina, Power Princess Seraphina, and another Power Princess Celestina," Chrissy began what sounded like a long soliloquy.
The older boys just flopped over and groaned.