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Last time, on The Girl Who Went "Bing"...
Professor Wallace merely took off his glasses and looked intently at Zena. "Bing?" he said quizzically. "My dear, did you say 'Bing'?"
...will Zena ever say anything else again? Will Professor Wallace get that hearing problem seen to? Will, oh who cares, just read on will you?
"Yes," said Zena, although it actually came out, "Bing."
"Yes," muttered Professor Wallace to himself. "Yes ... yes, I ... Well, thank Mrs, um, Mrs?"
"Kate!" boomed Zena's teacher.
"Yes, well, thank you Kate. I've seen this before you know. I'll take it from here."
Mrs Kate scowled at Zena before reluctantly leaving the room and slamming the door behind her.
"Bing, bing-bing?" said Zena, meaning to ask if he really had seen this before.
"Oh yes, many times. Awfully, awfully common, actually. And so easily preventable. It's a wonder I ever see any cases any more, and yet here you are stood right before my very eyes. Third one this week!"
Third case this week? thought Zena. But surely this can't be common at all. She peered at the Head Master.
"Oh, I know what you're thinking, but yours isn't the only school in this building. There were three hundred and fifteen of them at the last count, in fact. There used to be many more, but they've all closed now. Cutbacks, eh? The latest one," he said, raising his eyebrows and leaning in conspiratorily, "was re-opened as a hospital for stick insects."
He noticed Zena's confused expression.
"You can't see the other schools of course," he said, as an afterthought. "But you can rest assured that they are here."
"Ah, good question! Well, it's an affliction that I call 'Binglish'."
"Well, quite. I'll arrange an appointment for you with Mr Bonathan right away."
With that, Professor Wallace turned, bent down, and rapped on a door that was not two-foot high. A dull thud was heard from the other side, followed by a series of very loud footsteps. The door opened sharply, and in the doorway stood an eighteen-inch tall ten-year-old boy.
"Oh for goodness' sake Professor! I was just about to make it onto level fourteen!"
"This," said the Head Master to Zena, allowing himself a little chuckle. "This, is our resident child psychiatrist, Mr Bonathan. And this," he said to the miniature shrink. "This charming young lady's name is Zena. She has something with which you might help her."
"Oh alright," said Mr Bonathan, standing aside from the opening. "But only because I still owe you for the incident with the kitchen apron. Come on in Zena. Let's get it over with."
Zena crouched down and began to crawl through the tiny doorway.
"Look, you silly girl!" said an exasperated Mr Bonathan. "Why don't you just use the other door?"
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