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Pie Stories

The Perfect Homework Excuse

by Michael Cooper

to be or not to be


This is the story about the ultimate homework excuse. When I was in third grade, I was living in Virginia and had a school project where I decided to make a salt dough map of the state. It was going to be the size of a sheet pan and have all of the geographical features that made Virginia a special state. I formed the Appalachian Mountain range, the Blue Ridge, and made it a point to carve out places for the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers. This was going to be my masterpiece!

Being just a third grader, my mother helped me make the salt dough and double-checked that I was making an accurate replication of the state. When I was all done, the dough needed to dry overnight before I painted it. We wanted to leave it in a place where it couldn’t be reached by pets or my pesky brothers. My mother suggested we store it on top of the refrigerator, as it would be out of reach from prying hands. With all the confidence in the world we placed it on top of the fridge and left it to dry overnight.

When I awoke the next morning, my mom and I pulled down the map. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There on the east coast of Virginia, roughly near Williamsburg, it looked like someone had taken a GIANT BITE out of it! Now salt dough is pretty much made with just flour water and salt. Its definitely not going to be something you’d want to eat, so I thought someone had just messed with it to make it look bad. By then my dad came downstairs to see what all of the commotion was about. He was at work the previous day and did not know about my project. I told him about the map I had made and how someone had messed it up. After hearing what had happened he paused for a moment and said, “Oh, that’s what that was? I just thought your mother left a cake on top of the fridge. I was wondering why it tasted so bad.”

So I had to go to class and explain to the teacher how my DAD ATE MY HOMEWORK!


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