The narrator, who is a small boy at the beginning of the short story, is incredibly apprehensive about going to school for the first time. The young boy does not understand why he must be sent away from his home to attend the school and views the situation as a punishment. The boy is excited about his new clothes but incredibly anxious about everything else. He must be gently pushed through the open gates of the schoolyard by his father, and then, apprehensively, he finally enters the school. However, the boy's attitude quickly changes as he navigates his first day of school and makes fiends. From that point on, time in the short story passes incredibly quickly—while it seems as though it has only been a few hours, an entire lifetime has gone by.