Literature, Poetry, Theory/
First Day of School
Starting the First Grade

Meir Shalev

He was my first teacher. He taught my mother, he taught Uncle Ephraim and Uncle Avraham. He taught me, Uri and Yossi. Pines taught everyone….of all the civil servants in our village Pines was the only one who achieved respect as if he was an actual farmer. The children sometimes ridiculed him, however even after he retired all the children feared him….

When Pines taught the alphabet to a new cycle of little ones, a captivating excitement prevailed in our village, and people would gather at the school fence to hear the laughter of the children through the classroom windows. He didn’t start with the letter A, but rather with H. The first sound that the children made in the school was Ha Ha Ha.

And now children, pay attention H – ha ha ha, H – ha ha ha.

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