At Hayes Elementary School in Fridley, principal John Piotraschke has been using a special friend to teach life lessons to the children. Once a month, Piotraschke lets "Norman" the puppet put on a brief show to teach the pupils about such things as respect, manners or how to reach out and welcome a new classmate. With about 580 students at Hayes, Norman does three shows on one Friday morning a month. The students don't know for sure who is the voice behind Norman. But it is fair to say that Norman is a devoted buddy of Piotraskcke. Since the principal arrived at Hayes Elementary School 12 years ago, "Norman" has put on more than a 1,000 shows. Sometimes Norman's message about a word like caring; other times it is dealing with a concept, like making friends, Piotraschke said. Each month there is a new message and a new script. This morning (Friday, Oct. 4), Norman talked (see video above) about how he is a like a giraffe. Like a giraffe, Norman said he has a big heart, works together with others and is not afraid to stick out his neck and take risks. Prior to coming to Hayes Elementary School in Albert Lea, "Norman" did shows for four years at Hawthorne Elementary, where Piotrascke was priincipal for four years. Last year, Norman took on the topic of bullying.