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[2010.11.22][1715][37009]
Hare and Rold talked about their new responsibilities:  Hare would be occasionally working at a strip mall hardware store, and Rold needed to enroll in school the following day.  Because, after all, waiting was not necessary and they were both decided that no one could change their minds.  Rold seemed very blase about the whole thing for the rest of the day, but he still headed to bed much earlier than he had the night before when bedtime came.
In the morning, Rold was up earlier than Hare.  “Why is everyone awake?”
“Its your first day of school!”  Harry bubbled.  “I know I’m excited.  Have some breakfast and wash up.”
“I hope it’ll be . . . fun for you.”  Harold added.
“Great.”  Rold looked down at breakfast.  “I should shower first, then get some notebooks and stuff, then go.”  Glancing again at the food, he heard his stomach burble audibly.  “Or maybe I should eat first.”
Hare appeared in the dining area.  “We’ve gotta get going.”
“Argh!”  Rold sprinted back to the bathroom.
Bemused, Harry, Hare and Harold watched as the teen walked in and out of the bathroom, dining area and living room, keeping up a constant monologue with himself.  Rushing back and forth, Rold had never before been seen moving so quickly, truly he was like an adorable bunny dashing about.
At a moment when Rold had gone back to the bedroom, Hare laughed.  “I think he’s excited to get out of the house, really.”  Taking a seat, Hare glanced at Harold.  “You’re coming, too, right?”
“To the school?”  Harold’s history with school had been one that he had never told the others about.  Certainly, he had excelled at many things, but he could not recall a day in school, high school specifically, in which he had felt joy because he was there.  “I think we should pretend that Rold has one father.”
“Which is you?”  Harry noted around a mouthful of oatmeal.  “Or me.”
“Yes, and I pay for things, and you’re who we thought about first, but, think about it,”  Harold began to expound.  “The person who takes Rold to school and signs him in and has an actual job is more than likely the person who should sign him up.”
“Ah, you mean me.” Hare frowned.  “That doesn’t make me his father.  I would be his guardian, shouldn’t we stick to the old story?”
“Story, shmory, old chap.”  Harry shared a conspiratorial look with Harold.  “I mean, your part time job lets out before school does today and you can pick him up.  What would either Harold and I do while you were in work and he was in school?  Sit in the car?  Tour the ever impressive strip mall?  Attempt to cross a four lane highway?”
Hare grunted.  “You have a point.”
“If you really like this job, and taking Rold to school and back, I think we’ve defeated boredom.”  Harry stuck his spoon into the remainder of his oatmeal emphatically.  “For the both of you.  Not me or Harold of course.”
Harold morosely spooned his oatmeal into his mouth on cue.  The three nommed on their oatmeal slowly.  Zooming with a backpack in hand, Rold sat at the table and hoovered his oatmeal in less than twenty seconds.  Shaking Hare’s arm, Rold urged him to get a move on so that they could go.
“The earlier we get in, the sooner I can figure out what I’m doing.”
“Okay.”  Hare finished a last gulp and gathered his things.
Harold said to Rold as Hare and Rold headed out the door.  “Have a good day!”
“That was pretty good, Harold.”  Patting him on the back, Harry smiled.  “I think we’re one step closer to going on vacation alone.  Hare seems sympathetic.  Rold will be so distracted with school, he won’t care where you and I go.”
Cleaning up from breakfast, Harry and Harold deliberated about vacation plans.  Riding on an airplane would be fun and easier than having Hare drive them.  They were leaning towards travelling to a more southern state, with lots of warmth and sunshine, and hopefully, a large retiree community.
“Why retirees?”  Harold asked.
“So I can work my magic on the ladies.”
Harold rolled his eyes and headed back into his room to work on Five.

When Hare and Rold arrived at the high school, many cars were already there, but the area only had a few students milling about.  Parking in a visitor parking space, Hare locked the car after them and they both wandered around the campus looking for the main office.   
“They all look like me, so young.”  
“They’re your age.”  Hare whispered back.  “Try not to draw attention to us.”
“I’m not used to seeing people up close.”  Rold’s eyes widened.  “Young people.”
Flagging down a responsible looking adult, Hare managed to get a teacher to direct them to the main office.  On the way, she gave them a mini-tour and talked about the many amenities that the public school had, some of the things that the students liked to do and what the school itself was noted for, improvements on standardized testing in the past few years.  She left them at the door of the main office.  They went in and stopped in front of the large desk.
A secretary, dressed in what would be considered office casual, produced a clipboard, and sniffed down his nose at Hare.  “These pink forms must be filled out by you, the guardian, you are the guardian, correct?”
Intimidated, Hare could only nod his head once.
“The white forms must be filled out by the student.”  He handed the pink forms to Hare on a clipboard.  Rapidly attaching the white forms to another clipboard, he handed the white forms to Rold.  “Pens are near the bench over there.  Once you’re finished with those forms, I’ll hand you the blue forms.  Any questions?”
“Who does the blue forms?”  Rold squinted at the forms on the clipboard in his hands.
“You both do.”    
“When do we get them?”  Hare licked his lips.
“Once you finish the forms and brink them back to this desk, all of the white forms and all of the pink forms.”  He glared angrily at them both.  “Finish the forms.”
Hare and Rold retreated to the bench to grab pens and scribble quickly on the forms.  All the forms really required were numerous signatures and occasionally personal information.  They rushed back to the desk.
The secretary scrutinized the forms one by one.  “Do you really not have a phone number?”
“No.”  Rold shook his head no.
“We’re working on it.”  Hare interjected.  “We just moved.  That’s why we didn’t come sooner.”
“Hmm.”  He unclipped both sets of forms from their respective clipboards.  “That makes sense.  Once you do have a phone number, you should update it.”
“Can we do that online?”  Rold tapped his fingers on the desk.
“No.  I wish.  You’ll have to re-fill the white and pink forms again.”  The secretary handed over a stack of blue forms, neatly paper-clipped together.  “These contain all of the information the school wishes you to have before you enter a classroom.”
Glancing at the thick sheaf of paper, Rold intoned dolefully, “Do we come back tomorrow?”
“You should go to class immediately,”  He confided.  “No one ever reads the blue forms, at least, not all the way through.  You haven’t been assigned a homeroom, and you haven’t been tested either:  this means your classes have not been suggested or chosen yet, you’re not officially enrolled.  However, enough days have passed that if you miss a few days of class you may not make it through the year.”  Noting Hare and Rold’s blank faces, he continued, “In layman’s terms, by going to some classes today, you will be noted as having attended today.  This is better than not having attended.”
“Oh, okay.”  Rold turned to Hare.  “Can I go back to being home-schooled?”
Hare tensely grimaced.  “Kids, huh?”
“Indeed.”  Unamused, the man turned a laminated sheet face up on the desk.  “A student helper will come and get you.  You will shadow him or her for the day and you will be counted as having attended at the end of the day.”
“Can I stay with him?”  Hare patted Rold on the shoulder.  “He’s been . . . not around other kids his age for a while and its his first day.”
“No, its against school policy.”  
“Should I go now?”
“You may stay until the student helper comes.”  The secretary indicated the bench.  “Feel free to take a seat.”
Rold collapsed on the bench and flipped through the blue forms slowly.  “Hare, there are all these rules.  Its like living in the old house again.”
“I don’t think you have ever broken any of these rules.”  Hare peeked over Rold’s shoulder.  “It should be simple to NOT bring a knife to school.”
“NO pets on the premises.”  Rold muttered.  “You’re right, half of these things are ridiculous.  Why would someone bring a pet to school?”
Hare played devil’s advocate, “Show and tell?”
“That only existed when Harold was young.”  He stopped at an interesting form.  “Zero tolerance policies?  Does that mean that all of the other rules can be broken?”
“Ah, these are the ones that get you expelled.”
“Its almost as if you’ve gone to school before,”  Rold snarked.
“I thought about it,”  Hare admitted.  “A lot.  Especially when I was your age.”
Rold harumphed under his breath, flipping the sheaf of blue papers upside down.  
“I did.”  Hare leaned forward on the bench, sticking his hands to either side of his knees.  “There was this television show, I remember, where all of these kids were in school.  They had colorful clothes and these lockers . . . everyone on the show looked different.  Every episode was centered around hijinks at school.”
“Hijinks?”
“Capers, you know, fun.”  Hare shrugged.  “They looked like they were having fun.  They had families and stuff.”
“You’ve got Harold, Harry and me.”  
The student helper arrived, a rather tall blonde with large glasses.  He carried a backpack nearly twice his size.  Rold unfolded himself from the bench and went to greet him at the main desk.  Hare waved to Rold, then headed back out to the station wagon.  He had to head out to work.

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