You didn't need to see the wart on the side of her nose to realise that Mrs White was only teaching science as a day job to fund her passion for black cats and broomsticks.
What a drag it must have been for her, every morning, when she swapped her black cloak for a white lab coat.
Once she'd caught me setting fire to the classroom.
I'd been playing a spill this way and that through the blue flame flowering from the Bunsen burner. The flame bloomed along the spill and blossomed at my inky fingers.
My fingers started to burn.
I dropped the spill and set a burning gravity in motion.
It landed like a small dragon on the white page of my exercise book. The page started to smoke and wouldn't stay white for much longer.
I was so absorbed in this particular scientific problem that I didn't hear Mrs White creep up behind me. The first thing that alerted me to her presence was a sharp pain sprouting from my scalp as she pulled my hair towards the ceiling. I had to stand to alleviate the pain but she only pulled harder.
'Little boys, like you', she cursed, 'cause fires!'
But she used tugs on my hair instead of punctuation marks.
Later, she rubbed a bat's wing on a broomstick handle to demonstrate the cause of friction.