Mr Nanook

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Just the story of a student's favourite teacher.

Submitted: August 08, 2016

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Submitted: August 08, 2016



Mr Nanook

Music was always my favourite subject, because Mr Nanook was always my favourite teacher – though he was a little scary-looking, with that huge, ursine build and snowy white hair that grew all over his body. He had a deep, growly voice and a big round nose. The way he peered at you over his half-moon spectacles made it seem like he was looking into your soul. It sent an icy chill down the spines of naughty children, but if you were nice you would feel proud, like he was rewarding you through his praise, even though it was just a look in the eye. He came from Scandinavia – Norway or Denmark, I think. I can’t really remember. He never seemed like the kind of person who would teach music, but it was his passion. Especially in December – oh how he loved Christmas songs... For the entire month he would teach us how to play them in lessons, and he’d gleefully sing along in his thick accent. Nobody ever made fun of him for it. In part that was due to him being seven feet tall and built like a bear, but as far as I’m concerned it was because he was a sweet little cinnamon roll and the look in his eyes when he sang along to us playing a holiday tune badly on the cheap school pianos just warmed your heart.

I remember one year, on the first of December (a Tuesday, I think), I had my first ever guitar lesson with him. The previous day he’d asked us in the lesson wanted to learn, and I was the only one to raise their hand. He smiled at me with that strange, but loveable, giant smile of his, and told me to meet him in his room on Tuesday lunchtime (yes, it was definitely Tuesday). I was a little nervous about the whole thing – What if I was really bad at guitar? What if that dragged my music grade down? What if he was disappointed in me? – But all of my worries were put to rest when I stepped into the room and saw Mr Nanook calmly perched on a piano stool, strumming I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday on his bright red Flying V, which he only brought out in December.

“I haven’t had any lessons today,” he said to me as I sat down. “So you’re the first student to see Little Rudolph this year.”

“Really? Nice!”

“Do you remember how Little Rudolph got his name?” He asked me, smiling.

I nodded; Of course I could never forget that I’d named him.

Not a lot of people can say they were taught how to play a guitar that they had named by a polar bear, but Mr Nanook knew how to make everyone feel special.


Mr Nanook died a few years ago, and he left me Little Rudolph. I play Christmas songs on that old guitar every December, to commemorate the best teacher I’d ever had.

© Copyright 2018 Felicity Wyrd. All rights reserved.

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