Apple Island*:         
                  *from Apple Island or the Truth About Teachers   (Click on map to visit places Bradley visited!)



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 Apple Island is a peanut-shaped island far out in the Atlantic Ocean.  It is where all teachers from.  Long ago the good teachers left the island and sailed to America where they started the first schools.

Only one brave boy, Bradley Zimmerman, has ever visited Apple Island and returned to tell the story.  He traveled from the far North where the kind teachers used to live, all the way to Teacher City in the south where only crabby teachers now dwell. top





Great Hallway: The two teachers led the students across the soccer field.  They came to the start of road paved entirely with speckled tiles.  Nailed to an apple tree at the side of the road was a large cork bulletin board. Attached to the tree across from it were a round gray bell and an intercom speaker."Reminds me of the hallway in our school," Duncan called out. Bradley stared forward.  As he passed the bulletin board he read some letters cut from red construction paper thumb-tacked to the cork : top

Great Hallway Mile 0


No pushing
No spitting
No cuts in line
No saving places
No chewing gum

No roller blading
No skate boarding
No ball bouncing
No jumping rope
No hop scotch
No reading signs










Apple Woods : Stretched among the branches of a nearby apple tree, he spotted a curious-looking spider web. Long, flat strands, clear and sticky to the touch, formed the web. Dangling from it by another sticky strip was a peculiar plaid-colored spider who moved up and down by reeling the strand in and out of its bottom.
“Scotch tape!” Bradley declared. “And I always thought Scotch tape was made in factories.”
After hopping over a small brook flowing with a purple fluid that looked like pen ink, Bradley watched a snail the size and color of a dirty softball crawl through the crepe paper grass. The trail of cream-colored slime it left behind quickly hardened, and when Bradley pulled up a length of this material he found he was holding nothing less than fresh masking tape.












Half-Pint Dairy: Bradley crouched behind an apple tree, on the lookout for teachers. Sure enough, two of them wearing yellow overalls crouched among thecows. Each wore a straw hat. Each had a plastic box filled with small cardboard cartons by her side. One teacher, squatting beneath a white cow, held out a carton and pulled the cow's tail. The cow let out a low moan that sounded like A-E-I-O UUUUUUU as white milk squirted into the carton. When the carton was filled the teacher closed its peaked top and started filling another.

Meanwhile, the second teacher knelt beneath a brown cow. She also held out a carton. To Bradley's great surprise this cow squirted chocolate milk. “A-E-I-O UUUUUUU,” the cow lowed. “A-E-I-O UUUUUUU. top











Teacherville: A narrow lane took him into a shady glen.  There he discovered the remains of an abandoned village. Square, white houses lined both sides of the lane.  With their flat roofs caved in and large side windows smashed, the houses must have been vacant for many years.  On almost every wall someone had spray-painted graffiti. top













Grand Playground: Bradley faced south.  At the bottom of the hill stood a chain-link fence running from east and to west.  Beyond the fence lay something he never imagined could exist.  Stretching out to the horizon was an expanse of blacktop decorated with white lines and circles.

“It’s colossal!  It’s humongous!  It’s huuuuuge!” he said.  “It’’s the biggest playground in the universe!

"As far as he could see countless climbing structures, handball walls, basketball hoops, slides, swings, sand pits, monkey bars, baseball diamonds, tetherball poles, volleyball nets, and every other imaginableplayground apparatus rose from the asphalt. top
















Mines: Mr. Janitor struck a match, and a burst of flames lit his face.  He pulled a candle from a side pocket and lit it.  The candlelight fell upon a dazzling collection of colors --lemon yellow, violet red, robin’s egg blue, peach, carnation pink--that covered the smooth, glossy walls, ceiling, and floor of the tunnel.

Bradley ran his hand along one slick wall.  “This mine is carved through crayon wax,” he said.

Mr. Janitor held the candle up to the ceiling and drops of green-yellow wax splattered on the floor.  “Long ago a teacher named Miss Crayon discovered you could color pictures with this stuff,” he explained  “The teachers used little hollow drills to bore out millions of sticks of it.  Sixty-four colors in all they mined down here.” top













Office Palace: Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! went his sneakers on the polished floor.  Overhead, crystal chandeliers hung from a vaulted ceiling spangling with golden stars.  Portraits of teachers lined the walls.  On one side of the hall, Bradley spotted Mrs. Gross's picture, her frightening scowl and all.  On the opposite wall hung a painting of kind Miss Purdy.  The portrait hanging next to Miss Purdy's was also familiar.  But where had he seen that teacher before?  The plate underneath it read: W.T. MELON.

As Bradley continued down the hall, he read aloud the words stenciled on the doors. "Supply Room...Copy Machine Room...Resource Room...Thinking Hat Closet...Lost and Found Room."  But only one room caught his interest enough to make him stop.  "Torture Chamber," he said.

At the end of the hall, Bradley faced a tall glass door. Taped to it was a notice printed in purple ink: ALL VISITORS SIGN IN PLEASE
He pulled open the door and stepped up to a counter. The countertop being a foot above his head, he stood on a stool to see over it. There he spotted an extremely pretty woman tapping rapidly on a computer keyboard. He cleared his throat hoping to be noticed











Sh! Ravine: After a mile or so Bradley entered a narrow ravine.  Steep walls, as smooth and black as chalkboards, rose on both sides of him.

"Hope I don't meet any teachers in here," he said.


Bradley froze. The sound had come from somewhere ahead.  "Must be the wind," he said.


"Who's there?"


Bradley decided to experiment.  He clapped his hands.


"It's some kind of echo," he said.  "Maybe this is where teachers came up with that sound to quiet kids."


"Hey!  I'm Bradleeeeeey!" he shouted.


"And teachers can't stop me!"

















Crab Apple Forest: Bradley inspected the hard yellow fruit dangling from the gnarly limbs.“Crab apples,” he said. “I must be in the southern half of Apple Island.”

The tree branches clawed at Bradley’s pants and shirt as he trudged on. Thick moss, identical to the green felt in his classroom, covered the twisted trunks and a chilly coffee-colored fog clung to the swampy ground. Squish! Squish! Squish! went his tennis shoes in the soft, red muck that looked and smelled like modeling clay. top















Purple Lake: Crouching, Bradley stuck a finger into the lake’s purple fluid. “This entire lake is filled with ink!” he said. “I’d better be careful. My mom would kill me if I got a spot on this shirt.”

Clear hollow reeds grew in the shallows. They gave Bradley an idea. He broke off one reed and dunked it into the lake. He held something that looked remarkably like a pen.

“Now if I only had something to write on,” he said.
He turned toward a grove of trees behind the beach. The leaves on these trees were white like paper and rectangular like paper. They were smooth like paper and fluttered in the breeze as paper would do. Bradley reached up and felt one leaf. “This is paper,” he said. Then on it, with his newly crafted pen, he wrote BRADLEY WAS HERE in his best cursive
handwriting. top

















Big Book Building: A long and tiring trek, through more crab apple woods and more modeling clay swamps, brought Bradley to an enormous red-brick building.  Giant stone apples sat on each side of a broad stairway.  The stairs led up to tall wooden doors, and chiseled in stone above the doors were the words:


Bradley's eyes grew wide.  "Imagine the number of books this humongous place must hold," he said, bounding up the stairs. top

















Teacher City: Before Bradley lay the intersection of two busy roads, Teacher Boulevard and Teacher Avenue.  The streets teemed with teachers.  Teachers scurried in and out of the tall red-brick buildings.  Teachers walked in straight rows along the sidewalks.  Teachers filled the yellow buses that rattled up and down the streets, and teachers on bicycles wove between the buses.

Bradley  read several billboards posted along Teacher Avenue:

This building, a copy of Bradley's school in America, was used by the crabby teachers as a training ground for Operation Misteach. The first schools were built in America by the kind teachers and the word is an acronym for:

Small Citizens House Of Our Learning. top



More Maps!!
From Apple Island, or the Truth About Teachers
Text © 1998 by Douglas Evans
Illustrations © Larry Di Fiori
All rights reserved