Clarence's first day of school was Monday, February 15th. That Monday morning started out a brisk, 24 degrees Fahrenheit...However, it was expected to warm up to 50 degrees F in Estancia later that day...During the wait for the bus, that southbound Southern Pacific freight train came through Duran right on schedule, by which the cubs and teens then knew the school bus will be there soon. And sure enough, it wasn't long after the train had passed by that the school bus finally arrived, coming in from across Highway 54, then across the railroad crossing. "There's the invisible cub", the cubs could hear, followed by laughter, coming from the bus as the bus stopped, with it's door open and it's flasher blinking, before proceeding over the crossing. "Invisible cub caught the bus in time", another cub aboard the bus proclaimed as the bus proceeded over the crossing, then proceeded the couple of hundred feet beyond the crossing to the bus stop where Clarence, his step siblings and fellow neighbor cubs and teens were waiting. On that cold morning, the cubs at the bus stop were sure glad to see the door open on that bus...And it was sure a good thing the school bus had heat, which was a blessing the heater in that 1954 Chevrolet school bus ,#17, worked well for that 50 mile ride to school. Boarding a 1950s school bus with the other cubs for the first time definitely felt different to Clarence from the 21st Century school buses he had seen when he and his biological siblings would be walking to and from school 58 years in the future. "So, the new cub. I'm Stimpson. Pleased to meet you", the driver of bus #17, Stimpson Mink, greeted Clarence. "Same here. I'm Clarence Coyote", Clarence replied. "YEAH! I'm sure glad to get out of that cold", Rex said upon boarding the bus, right behind Clarence, where it was warm. "Me too", Ryan Lynx added as he too boarded the bus. "I hear yaz", Stimpson Mink replied with a smile as the rest of the cubs boarded the bus. "I really felt it before sunrise in Estancia when I got out to check the oil, tire pressure and brake fluid in the bus before coming out here to start my route. And it must have been in the teens where I picked up Grayson and Linda Raccoon near the county line a while ago". Stimpson Mink would always greet one of the teens, Jerald Coyote, "Hi there, sport", being that Jerald was on the high school football team. Jerald's older sister, Dotty, a high school cheer leader, would greet Stimpson with, "Morning, shug" (short for sugar). "Dotty. The gum", Stimpson said to Dotty who was munching on a piece of bubble gum. "Oh sorry, shug. I forgot", Dotty replied to Stimpson Mink. "I bet you did", Stimpson Mink remarked as Dotty deposited the chewed bubble gum into a small trash bag Stimpson keeps attached to the dashboard of the bus. "You already know if I let everyone on this bus chew gum, I'd end up having to pull it off the bottoms of the seats". Once the cubs and teens got seated, the bus was on it's way northwest out of Duran along northbound Route 3. "Hey there, Clarence", Clarence heard a female cub in the seat behind his say in a sweet tone. Clarence turned around to notice it was Cheryl Coyote, the female cub who took a liking to Clarence several days ago...Although Clarence felt a bit shy at first, he and Cheryl did begin having friendly conversation. "Cheryl is in our 3rd grade class with us", Rex told Clarence. "She's a nice girl". As the bus made it's scheduled stops on the way along Route 3 to pick up other cubs and teens, those boarding the bus welcomed Clarence. During the conversations along the way, 9th grader Jenifer Squirrel made mention about the pit bull bullies, Biff, Richie and Gaston. "They're such creeps", Cheryl's high school freshman sister, cheer leader Dotty Coyote, mentioned. "Most of us wish that threesome would just drop out of school". "They're from the high school", Jed advised Clarence. "What ever you do, avoid them. They sometimes come over to our school to pick on us and steal our lunch money". Cheryl Coyote's high school senior brother, football team member Jerald, assured the cubs, "Just let me know if any of those three mess with you, and I'll beat their ass a good one". "No cussing aboard my bus", Stimpson Mink reminded Jerald Coyote. "Sorry, Stimpson", Jerald replied. "I guess I sorta let that one slip". "At least they don't ride this bus", said Ryan Lynx. "I don't think they live near where we do". Stimpson Mink then mentioned, "Well, those three wouldn't pull any of that nonsense aboard my bus I hear about them doing...even if did ride it". "I hope they don't come into Duran much", Clarence said. Jerald Coyote, assured Clarence, "Biff and his brat brother Richie, and that other looser Gaston, live in Moriarty. That's clear on the other end of Torrence County from where we are". "We came through Moriarty on Saturday on our way to Albuquerque to race slot cars", Clarence mentioned. "At Tri-Star Plaza", Ryan Lynx added. "They got that big cool track. Our Dad and Mom takes us there sometimes". "Yea, our mom and dad lets us go there too", said Cheryl. "Most of the time my big brother and big sister don't let me win though". "Oh, you know we do", Jerald replied to his younger sister, Cheryl. "You just gotta learn to drive faster", Dotty said to Cheryl with a smile. "Then that way you can be the one who won't let us win". Eventually, Cheryl asked Clarence if she can move one seat up and sit beside him. "Sure", Clarence replied as he slid over to make room for her. As Cheryl took a seat beside Clarence, Jerald said to Clarence, "My mom and dad and us have been noticing my sister likes you". Jerald even thought to himself, "Who knows?...Dotty and I might even have Clarence as a brother-in-law some day". Eventually, the bus was approaching Encino, where the bus would pass over a railroad crossing, then turn west onto Highway 60. "Here's where the invisible cub gets on", Kevin Fox jested as the bus neared the Santa Fe railroad crossing just before Encino. "Invisible cub?", Clarence asked. "He gets on when Stimpson Mink stops the bus at the railroad crossing", Rex said, then told Clarence how the cubs aboard the school bus would joke about the imaginary invisible cub who's invisible family lived in Encino in their invisible house. School buses were required by state law to come to a complete stop before proceeding over a railroad crossing. As Stimpson Mink, slowed the bus down to prepare to stop at the double track crossing, he would always open the door...Opening the door was the only means to make the red flashers on the bus to come on to get the attention of vehicles approaching from behind so the bus won't get rear-ended. As Stimpson Mink checked to make sure the tracks were clear with the bus stopped and the door open, a cub called out, "The invisible cub's getting on the bus". "The invisible cub caught the bus on time", another cub added as the cubs laughed. "Save a seat for the invisible cub", other cubs laughed and said as Stimpson Mink proceeded the bus across and closed the door. "So that's the invisible cub", Clarence said as he too was laughing. "I've been hearing the cubs on the bus at the Duran crossing saying that". "We always do that", Cheryl said to Clarence with a chuckle. "That's because Stimpson has to open the door so the bus blinker will blink. It's like a cub you don't see is getting on the bus or off the bus". After Stimpson Mink picked up some cubs in Encino, it was another 35 miles west on highway 60 until they arrived to Willard. Then 11 miles north on highway 41 before arriving in Estancia...Clarence recognized Estancia from last Wednesday when Al and Marge took him there to adopt him. Within minutes, Bus #17 was pulling in to the boarding lane behind buses from other routes to let the students off at school. At school, Clarence, being in the same 3rd grade class with Rex made it comfortable getting use to a different school, and in a different day and time...And Clarence made a lot of friends...Clarence was also fond of Cheryl being in the same class as well. At the beginning of the school day, 3rd grade teacher, Glenda Otter, instructed the class as she does every morning, "Okay, class. Stand and place your right paw over your heart". "What are we doing?", Clarence asked a nearby student, Nancy Fox. "It's the Pledge of Allegiance", Nancy Fox replied to Clarence. Teacher Glenda Otter and the cubs in the class then proceeded, "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America,..." "You're suppose to say the pledge", Nancy Fox whispered to Clarence Coyote. Clarence didn't know the words, so as the class continued reciting the pledge, Clarence mumbled, pretending to know the words, "...and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all". It would come to pass 58 years into the future that the schools would no longer recite the Pledge of Allegiance. It was something new to Clarence, and Rex did notice the difficulty Clarence had with it. As class got underway, there was one thing Clarence noticed almost right away that was so different from the 21st Century school he had known...The class wasn't being disrupted by mischief makers constantly acting up and clowning around. If a teacher did ask, "Can anyone tell me how to equally divide a dozen apples among 32 cubs?", there might have been a wrong answer or two... ...But if so, a student would eventually give the correct answer, "Cut the apples into eights, and give each cub three eights"... ...There were no comments from the peanut gallery such as, "Make apple sauce", or, "Make apple pie", followed by a roll a laughter from the rest of the class. And none of that 'Common Core' junk was being taught that Clarence had been exposed to in 2018 (Back in 1960, no one even knew what Common Core was). The school building didn't appear to be damaged from acts of vandalism either...In fact, the building seemed to be well maintained. During lunch break, Clarence noticed the school lunches consisted of fresh vegetables, stew and fresh fruit, with a container of milk, and a choice of sherbet or Jello for desert...It was not the chips-n-sandwich with soda lunch he had been use to calling 'a school lunch'...And it was served on ceramic dishware and bowls with metal silverware instead of on paper plates with plastic forks. There weren't the sounds of paper bags popping in the cafeteria. And conversations were normal instead of the shouting and loud buffoonery that Clarence remembered in the school cafeteria from 2018. Nor were there any battles with food or drink flying across the cafeteria. And when lunch time was over, everyone carried their trays to the dishwasher's window, and properly disposed of any trash items...Clarence noticed that the cafeteria was not left looking somewhat like a city dump or a county land fill. Everyone for the most part got along well with each other. However, everyone knew about the three bully pit bulls, Biff, Richie and Gaston, over at the high school. But they were the exception and not the rule...Speaking of which, that threesome didn't get the opportunity to show up at the elementary school that day. In fact, out on the playground during recess, some of the cubs expressed that they hope Biff, doesn't show up with his cronies while they were outside playing. Glenda Otter assured her class, "Let Biff show up here, and I'll show him how a female grown Otter can take a paddle to that juvenile delinquent's behind in front of everyone". Later that day, by the time school let out, the day turned out to be fairly pleasant with temperatures around 50...It was a bit breezy with winds near 20 mph though. Of course as the cubs were boarding bus #17 to go home, cars could be seen occasionally speeding out of the of the high school parking lot, with engine reving and spinning tires squalling. A blue, 1957, two door, Chevy, with mags and wide rear tires, driven by a teen age weasel, fish-tailed, smoking it's tires, then took off hot rodding down the street. https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=...: "You won't catch me driving like that", 6th grader, Julia Coatimundi said as she boarded the bus. "Smart girl", bus driver, Stimpson Mink replied. "Jerald, I hear you're looking into getting a car soon", Stimpson Mink said to Jerald Coyote. "I am", Jerald affirmed. "But I don't plan to go around smoking tires when I get one. It's taken me too long to save up for a car for me to go tearing one up". As other cubs were still boarding the bus, a 1959 Cadillac Coupe De Ville, in Gotham gold with white interior, swerved insanely almost out of control, hot rodding and smoking tires, then took off speeding down the street. https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=...: "There goes Biff Pit Bull high-tailin' it in his dad's Cadillac", Kevin Fox exclaimed. "And his brother Richie and cronie Gaston, riding with him too". "They're the Bullies you all were talking about?", Clarence asked. "That's them", Kevin answered. Most of the high school students, however, drove like they had some common sense...Then a hot rod jelopy which was a modified 1930s era car, in black with flames painted on it, was driven by a teen age skunk who had it floored, high-balling it down the street, lightin' up them wide, rear, racing tires and smokin' 'em for about 350 feet. https://www.google.com/search?q=hot+rods&source=lnm...: "Don't any you cubs be driving that way when you get to high school", Stimpson Mink announced as he closed the bus door and pulled out after the cubs had boarded. Needless to say, where the street ran past the high school, the pavement had marks everywhere from all the tire burn-outs over the years. Clarence's first trip back home from school in 1960 was a pleasant one. the weather had warmed up. All the cubs were nice and got along. And though Stimpson Mink was a no-nonsense bus driver about enforcing bus rules, he was a cool and happy-go-lucky mink. Eleven miles south of Estancia, Stimpson Mink dropped off more cubs and teens at their designated stops, then it was east along Route 60 to Encino. At some point along Highway 60, past County Road A129 and well before Encino, Stimpson Mink was beginning to make a stop to let a cub, Tammy Bear, off at her family's rural home. The door of the bus was already open with the red flashers blinking. As the bus had just rolled to a stop, >ZOOM<, a bronze colour, 1958, Studebaker Golden Hawk sped like a flash past the bus, solid flying along at 140 mph. https://www.google.com/search?q=studebaker+golden+hawk&...: "That idiot!", Stimpson retorted. "That's Danny Otter! I'd know that car anywhere", Ryan Lynx exclaimed as the car continued speeding away down the highway. "Danny was racing Jerry Wolf's Corvette out on Highway 66 two weeks ago", said Jose Kinkajou. "That's when they almost ran my mom and dad's car off the road". "I always hear that immature twerp bragging about how fast his car is in the classes I have with him" Jerald Coyote mentioned. "My dad knows Danny Otter's dad. My dad works with him at the Horizon lab and research complex", Jed Coyote added as Tammy Bear stepped off the bus while taking a glance at Danny Otter's car which was already a mile down the highway. "I think someone should let Danny's dad know about that stunt he pulled just now", Stimpson suggested to Jed as he closed the bus door and proceeded on. "I'm just so thankful this wasn't a stop where I had cubs crossing the highway". "Good gosh, I'd say so", Dotty Coyote agreed. "Danny's gonna kinda like... end up killing somebody with that car". With the school bus never exceeding 50 mph, it was within only a couple of minutes that Danny Otter's Golden Hawk was clean out of sight. Before long, the bus arrived in Encino, where there were a few more bus stops, then where the bus proceeded onto Route 3 to Duran. As the bus neared the Santa Fe railroad crossing, the cubs laughed when Rex announced, "The invisible cub's grabbing his books to get off the bus". When Stimpson Mink stopped the bus with the door open to check for trains at the crossing, leaving south out of Encino, many of the cubs aboard the bus laughed and call out, "See ya tomorrow, invisible cub". Sometimes the cubs would get a sing-along going on the way home aboard the bus...On this day it was, "If You're Happy and You Know it, Clap Your Paws", >Clap clap clap<. It was a pleasant 60 degrees in Duran when Clarence and his step siblings arrived home from school. Marge met the cubs at the bus stop and was delighted to hear that Clarence's first day at school went well. Clarence even made the comment, "The cubs at this school are nicer than the cubs in the school...", then Clarence realized just in time not to continue, "...in 2018 where I'm from" in the presents of the neighbor cubs. "Be careful not to slip up with that", Marge discretely reminded Clarence. The Route 3 crossing for the Southern Pacific Railroad was only a couple a hundred feet past the bus stop, thus, Stimpson Mink just does get the bus rolling before he opens the door to activate the bus flashers then stops before crossing the Southern Pacific tracks. Clarence, Rex, Jed and Donna, along with the other neighbor cubs and teens laughed and giggled as they could hear the cubs still aboard the bus, who lived east of Highway 54, doing that gag for "the other invisible cub who lives in Duran"...Marge even got a laugh from it...After all, half the fun of school should be getting there and coming back.
Rex did mention to Mama Marge, "Danny Otter really highballed it past our bus when Stimpson Mink was letting Tammy off at her mom and dad's place". "He made Dad's driving look slow", Clarence added, which does say a lot considering Daddy Al is a fast driver. Jed reported to Mom, "Danny was going way faster than a hundred. I know he had to be". "And when our bus was stopped too", Donna added. Before Jerald and Dotty Coyote walked home to their mom and dad's place, they gave Marge a detailed report of what all happened. At one point, Jerald even told Marge, "That 100 miles per hour Rex and Jed are talking about was more like 130 or 140". "You'd think Danny was trying to blast off to the moon in that car", Dotty commented. "That youngest son of Greg...The last thing he needed was a hot rod car", Marge sighed, after thanking Jerald and Dotty for the info. When Al arrived home from work an hour later, he greeted Marge, then asked Clarence, "How was school today, Son?". "I liked it. It was really nice", Clarence replied. "Oh wonderful. Happy to hear that, Al replied. Marge also told Al how Rex, who is in the same class with Clarence, mentioned how well Clarence did in school. Then Marge told Al, "You need to have a word with Greg Otter the next time you see him at work". "What about, dear?", Al asked. "About his son, Danny", Marge answered as she and the cubs then told Al about how Danny came flying down Highway 60 at a speed around 130 mph past the school bus when it was stopped letting Tammy Bear off. "That young otter is going to end up killing someone or himself with that car someday", Al said. "They got me scheduled to come in to work in the evening tomorrow. I'll bring that to Greg's attention then". The cubs had homework assignments, so Al and Marge had them start on it first thing so they can get it out of the way for the evening. After the cubs got their homework assignments done, Clarence got permission from Al and Marge to get out his laptop and drawing tablet so he and the other cubs can draw with it. "But if company drops by, you cubs will have to drop what you're doing and get that stuff put up out of sight", Al mentioned, which the cubs understood and agreed to. Jed, Rex and Donna remembered the scientists trying out the drawing tablet when it was set up on the hood of Greg Otter's car the day Clarence first arrived in the time machine. The cubs had lots of fun taking turns drawing artwork on this new kind of device that only few in 1960 even knew about. Clarence even showed his step siblings how to save their artwork on a few flashdrives that he had with him when he made that trip through time. "Let's do one of the mummy being chased by the cars", Donna suggested, referring to the gig the cubs made up at the hobby shop in Albuquerque last Saturday when the Mummy Song was playing. So the cubs chipped in together on such a drawing. The cubs giggled and laughed as Jed drew a red and white 1957 Ford with Gumby driving, Rex drew a blue 1957 Chevy with Pokey driving, Clarence drew a cherry red 1959 Chevy with Mighty Mouse driving (he had to play with the colour pallet to get the cherry red just right), and Donna drew a pink and white 1956 Nash driven by Andy Panda. "And there's the mummy", Jed said as he drew the mummy running down the road being chased by the cars. The cubs also got a laugh as Clarence drew Charley Brown Sloth Bear (Furry version of Charley Brown from the Peanuts Gang) jumping out of the way of a black 1960 Chrysler 300...in reference to The Coasters, Charley Brown song that played during the 2nd run on the slot car track. Al and Marge watching the cubs drawing on the tablet and laptop were still as amazed as they were the day Clarence first presented it to them at the time machine landing site. In fact, Al and Marge did have a go at doing some doodlings...During that time though, the batteries had a good charge, thus there was no need seen to hook the laptops charger up. Later that evening, the drawings the cubs created were saved onto flashdrives, then the drawing tablet, stylus, laptop and flashdrives were secured back into the backpack and placed back in the attic. Then the cubs watched cartoons for a while, which consisted of Woody Woodpecker, and some Terrytoons cartoons of Mighty Mouse and a couple of Heckle & Jeckle cartoons. While watching a Mighty Mouse cartoon, Rex said to Clarence, "That's the mouse that was driving your car last Saturday", as Rex, Clarence, Jed and Donna laughed. The cubs found it even funnier when Clarence added, "Oh well. At least Mighty Mouse tried to catch that mummy". There was more laughter from the cubs when Jed added, "That mummy sure can run fast. Outrun a '59 Chevy?...That's a fast mummy". Donna got a good roll of laughter going when she said, "Andy Panda got the mummy locked in the trunk of my Nash...And he ain't gettin' out".
It was pretty late by the time the the family had supper, followed by it already being a little past 10:30 by the time the cubs got a shower...which was considerably past the normal bedtime for the cubs. Al and Marge were going to have the cubs go to bed at that time...However, all this time, the television had been left on, and a si-fi movie, that was released in the theaters three years earlier, was scheduled to air on TV...It was "Kronos", a movie about a sinister giant robot sent by a civilization of another planet to rob the Eaeth of all it's energy...And the movie was just starting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MC1ihvAxyc As the movie introductory began on TV, the cubs begged Mom and Dad to let them stay up and watch the si-fi movie...Eventually Al and Marge agreed to let the cubs stay up long enough to watch the movie...with the stipulation it was off to bed after the movie. "Wow! I've seen parts of that movie on Youtube!", Clarence exclaimed. The family having no idea what Youtube even was, Clarence briefly explained it as one of those internet things...which is what Al and Marge somewhat figured Clarence meant by it. However, it would be later that Clarence would take the time to explain what Youtube will be in the 21st Century...For now, the Kronos movie on TV was beginning. Being it is the anthro-animal (furry) universe, the movie didn't have so much the appearance of the IRL human movie...If you can imagine the movie being reminiscent in appearance to furry comics searched under keyword 'webcomics', that's what the movie is to the furry universe. And it was anthro-animals who played parts in the movie; The two main characters, Les and Vera, were played by foxes. A fellow scientist, Arnie, was played by a kinkajou. The driver of the pick up truck in the beginning was played by a wolf. The guard who the beings from another planet had the wolf knock out was played by a bear; Dr. Eliot, who the other planet beings took over, was played by a badger. A psychiatrist in the movie was played by an Irish setter. ...and so on. During some parts of the movie when it showed of the giant monster robot from another world, Donna sat snuggled up to Mama Marge on a sofa...especially when it showed of the extraterrestrial robot destroying a power plant. The cubs enjoyed the movie, as well as Al and Marge did...And by the time the movie was over, it was already midnight. Back in those days, television stations didn't stay on the air all night long...Television stations would always cease broadcasting at midnight until about 6:00 or 7:00 the following morning. After a few commercials aired following the end of the movie, the usual midnight TV announcement aired, "We are now leaving the air, as KSWS-TV, Channel 8 on your television dial, concludes another broadcast day". Then, as an image of an American flag aired on TV as the national anthem played, everyone stood except for Clarence. "Clarence. Stand up", Al said during the playing of the anthem, thus Clarence then stood. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHqA83gdBwA After the anthem finished playing, and the family sat back down, the anthem that had played suddenly reminded Rex of something that Clarence had difficulty with at school. By then, the KSWS-TV signal ceased, leaving the TV in the living room displaying static. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DH0BQtwEAsM "OH, Mom. Dad", Rex said. "I don't think Clarence knows the Pledge of Allegiance. I saw that in school this morning". Rex then explained to Mom and Dad about Clarence not being able to recite the pledge of allegiance in school, and how the best he could do was mumble pretending he knows the words. While the cubs went off to bed, Al and Marge had a talk with Clarence in the living room before pulling Clarence's pull-out sofa bed into a bed. As Marge turned off the TV that was now displaying static, Al asked Clarence, "Son. Have you ever before been taught the pledge of allegiance?", suspecting what the answer might be. "I never knew about it until this morning", Clarence answered. "The school in 2018 never said anything like that". "And didn't you know you are suppose to stand when you hear the national anthem played?", Al asked Clarence. "But I always thought that's just if you're at games and car races and stuff", Clarence replied. "It's suppose to be for anytime", Marge corrected Clarence. Then Clarence explained, "Well...But...In 2018, there's a lion with a huge Afro mane who's on a football team. And he doesn't even stand for the anthem before a game starts...He kneels". "It doesn't matter what that lion will be doing 58 years from now", Al Coyote retorted to Clarence. "What he'll be doing will be wrong". "If that were to happen now days, the principal would have that young lion kicked off the school football team, and have a good word with his parents over it", Marge retorted, thinking Clarence was talking about a high school student on a high school football team pulling a stunt". "No no no. He's not in high school", said Clarence. "He plays...or I mean he will someday play... professional". "Oh, my God! Unbelievable!", Marge exclaimed. "I believe we're witnessing a glimpse of where things are headed 60 years from now", Al said to Marge. Getting the answers to their questions they got from Clarence, Al and Marge took some time before going to bed to teach Clarence the words to the pledge of allegiance, and what those words mean, so he would be able to recite the pledge at school with his classmates in the mornings. After about 30 minutes, Clarence was finally able to remember and recite the words, "I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America. And to the republic for which it stands. One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all". Once Al pulled the pull-out sofa bed to a bed for Clarence to sleep on, Al and Marge had some coffee at the dining table, which Al also smoked one of his Chesterfield cigarettes. They made plans on some things to do together the next day while the cubs are in school being that Al was not scheduled to come in to work until in the evening tomorrow. The conversation also came up of getting a real bed for Clarence, and having him move in with Jed and Rex, so he doesn't have to continue sleeping on the pull-out sofa bed in the living room...which that conversation was something Clarence was happy to overhear. After discussing the plans for the next day over some coffee and Al finished his cigarette, Al and Marge turned in for the night...After all, it was past midnight, and very late.