It was at the end of the month, when Calvin was in a rather bad mood after his mom got him out of bed to go to school. Discontent with the way things were, Calvin grumbled sourly, wishing he were dead -- or rather that everyone else was dead. When Susie eventually got to the bus stop, she figures that he wasn't able to find enough bugs for the Insect Collection-project that they had to do for school -- then she asks him where his collection even is, pointing out how it's due that day. This makes Calvin realize that he completely forgot about the project -- at first Susie thinks that Calvin just left his project at home by mistake before realizing that Calvin had forgotten to do the project at all, due to not paying any attention in class.
Susie questions Calvin on how he could've forgotten about the project, as they and the rest of their classmates had been talking about it and working on it in class for the past month. Meanwhile, Calvin's in a frenzied panic to try and gather up fifty insects before class starts, but after going inside for their morning class activities, all Calvin managed to find was:
- one drowned worm,
- a fuzzy piece of lint that looked like a bug,
- a live ant,
- and a smashed fly.
He didn't have a box or pins to put them in, so he tried to tape them to some notebook paper. He also attempted to have Susie think up scientific names, but Miss Wormwood thought she was having conversations in class, which ended up with Susie getting moved to another desk. Then Calvin began passing notes to Susie, and Miss Wormwood blamed her for everything. Susie was sent to Mr. Spittle's office, which relieved Calvin momentarily. But then he realizes that Susie will probably ratting him out -- which is exactly what happens, as Susie explains what really happened to Principal Spittle, who, much to Susie's relief, believes her and both he and Susie explain the situation to Miss Wormwood after Susie returns to class.
In the end:
- Calvin fails the project and gets in trouble for not paying any attention in class.
- He also gets into trouble for getting Susie in trouble.
- The school calls Calvin's parents to tell them about what happened, so Calvin also ends up getting in trouble with his parents.
After telling Hobbes about everything that happened, the tiger figures that this whole experience would make him want to finish his assignments on time, like his book report -- but then it turns out that Calvin's upcoming book report is another assignment that he's completely forgotten about.