In an outbreak of inspired malevolence, Ruby the skunk wishes that her bothersome classmate Alice the porcupine would ""just disappear"" and, finding her wish granted, dematerializes Barbara the armadillo (when she refuses to share her tunafish sandwich at lunch), her battle-axe of a teacher Mrs. Sidoti the rhinoceros, and all the other students in turn. Left all alone Ruby goes on a rampage through the classroom -- writing on the blackboard with the forbidden colored chalk, watering all the plants (she had never been chosen to be watering monitor) and changing all her O's in Mrs. Sidoti's gradebook to 100%'s. Without an audience the rebellion soon wears itself out (""What good is it being great all by myself?."" Ruby moans), and when she wakes up to find the formidable Mrs. Sidoti and all her friends pack in their old palces, she decides to ""give them all a second chance."" Pelavin's palette of glowering reds and browns and the mischievous expressions on her classroom full of young animals, makes Ruby's temper tantrum both convincingly fierce and enjoyably empathic -- promising a healthy release of tension all round.