Robert Whiting In search of awesome

Mr Hackle Grumsclaw


Breakfast: 7:00-8:00 Dorm dining room

Orientation: 8:15-9:45 Orientation, Mr. Andrew Collins

Magical Retention: 10:00-11:45 Library, Mr. Hackle Grumsclaw

Lunch: 12:00-1:00 Common dining room

The Green: 1:15-3:00 Great room, Ms. Crystal Jacobs

Hiking: 3:15-5:00 Mr. Clyde Rockhoof

Free time: 5:00-6:00

Dinner: 6:00-7:00 Common dining room

Lights out: 8:00 Dorm

Jack walked up the path toward The Lodge next to Hunter followed by Aiden, Tyler, Jonathan, and a small scattering of other boys going all the way back to the boy’s dormitory just inside the tree line. The Lodge was situated in the middle of a large grass filled clearing just close enough to the mountain river to hear it but not to see it through the dense evergreens that covered everything else but the surrounding mountain peaks–which were still covered in snow, even in June.

“What kind of a name is Grumsclaw?” Jack said to Hunter, who also looked at the schedule for the day.

“Grumsclaw? What about Hackle for a first name? Sounds like Mr. Peterson.” Both boys grimaced, “At least I didn’t have to have him this year. That’s one good thing about being transferred to dumb school last year.”

Jack sighed. “It’s not dumb school. You’re just not very good at finishing your homework. You’re plenty smart, and I wish you’d just do the work so you can come back to public school. At least then I wouldn’t have to deal with Mr. Peterson by myself.” They walked in silence for a while.

The Lodge was a beautiful building, mostly logs with large windows on the a-frame front, but it hardly looked like a magical place. Back at home, Mr. Collins, the boy’s dorm sponsor, had explained that they were to learn all about magic this summer, and he didn’t seem to be able to stop talking throughout breakfast about how amazing their summer would be.

Jack and Hunter opened the large doors and walked into the warm common room. A plump woman with short cut grey hair excused herself from a group of young girls and introduced herself to the boys, “Good morning boys, I’m Ms Hicks–the camp organizer. I was wondering when Mr. Collins would send you up. The first class starts in a few minutes. The library is just through there.” She gestured past the group of girls to a stairwell leading down.

They walked past the girls trying to ignore the giggles, down the half-flight of stairs and into the library. It was a small library that reminded Jack of his dad’s study: the large fireplace, the large leather chairs in front of it. He took a seat at one of the tables facing the fireplace and jumped when he noticed a large bear wearing reading glasses sitting in one of the leather recliners by the fire.

Hunter let out a small squeak when he noticed the bear, and his face turned a bright red for a moment while he glanced around to see if anyone heard him. Other students has similar reactions–shortly after they sat down, they seemed to see the giant bear for the first time and jump, squeak and go pale, but the bear just sat there poking at something in his lap.

Every student watched the bear intently, and the minutes drew on. The silence broke with a low intake of breath and a bellowing sigh as the recliner turned to face the room. The bear held in his lap, an iPad. He clicked it off and set it on a small table to his left. He then removed his reading glasses and placed them beside the iPad.

His low growling voice filled the room, “There is no such thing as magic.” A girl in the back let out something between a strangled laugh and a cry.

The bear smiled, “At least not in the way you think of magic. If you hadn’t put it together by now, I am Mr. Grumsclaw. Today we are going to talk about how your little human brains can hold onto magic. Hopefully by the end of the summer, you’ll be able to greet me when you come in the door, instead of sitting there like a bunch of trout…”