The boy believes it is morning snack time. The kids are all still at their stations playing or working on projects. He walks to the front of the class, pulls out his two dimes, and holds them up.
“Anyone else for milk time?”
No one looks at him—not the teacher, not the aide, not the kids.
He shrugs and heads out. He reaches the cafeteria, and the workers are just beginning to open it. He goes straight into the empty line, pulls out a chocolate milk, and pays his $0.20.
Back at the classroom, his teacher notices him walking in.
“Where did you go?”
“To get chocolate milk.”
“You left without permission.”
“It was snack time. I went to the front and asked if there were any other people going for milk.”
“It wasn’t time. Snack time isn’t for twenty more minutes.”
The students are all back at their desks and he slinks into his.
His teacher walks toward his desk. “So you think you can just go wherever you want whenever you want?”
“No. I stood at the front and asked if anyone wanted milk.”
“So now you’re the only one who has milk.”
“I guess. I asked.”
“Well, fine. We’re all going to sit here and watch you drink your chocolate milk.”
He looks up at her. “I’m not drinking it now.”
“Go on. Drink it.”
She picks up his chocolate milk and slams it on the desk. The carton is dented but somehow doesn’t burst.
“Let’s move on, class.”
Snack time arrives twenty minutes later. He eats his snack quietly but leaves the dented carton on the desk until it’s time to get back to work. He then puts it in his lunchbox.
On the bus that afternoon, he opens his lunchbox and pulls out the carton. His friend turns around in his seat.
“Are you gonna drink it?”
“Yep.” He opens it and takes his first gulp. It is warm, but sweet.
“Is it good?”
“A little warm but still good.”
“Nice. The dent didn’t hurt it?”
“Nope. It’s good.”