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Not long ago, there was a time and place where this sort of behavior would have been accepted, maybe even celebrated, Bernie thought glumly as he lay slumped in the "punishment corner" of his nursery school. Why didn't Ms. Bickerstaff realize | the importance of rigorous scientific testing? Sadly the tensile strength of certain Barbie doll heads were not up to standards. Will an entire box of these Legos withstand the force of being flung across the room? The world may never know. | One thing was certain: Bernie was unfairly punished, without a trial of his peers. The dictatorial Ms. Bickerstaff had merely ruled without due process. Bernie vowed then and there that | his scientific studies would continue with or without her harsh dictatorial leadership. He crawled slowly out of the corner, keeping one eye on Ms. Bickerstaff, who was occupied trying to separate Robbie "The Biter" from Susie "The Snitch." Bernie | crept slowly across the alphabet carpet at his feet. One hand touched C, the other D. Letter by letter, he silently crossed the room. His knees dragged across L and M when Susie, pouting under Ms. Bickerstaff, noticed his movements.

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