Dear Principle (name omitted),
When I was in about second grade I lived in Downey, California and went to a school named St. Marks. It was a small Episcopal school around the block. Before my brother and I acquired bikes we would walk to school. I can still remember on one of those walks, encountering a small dead bird. Some sparrow I think. Its toes were curled up, like it died clutching a branch and then fell straight down. It was a little flat where it had been lying on the ground. I don’t remember remorse or fear or any compulsion except that I wanted to keep it. I’m sure my brother thought that was a good idea.
I carried that dead bird to school. How I carried it is little vaporesque in my memory. There are three possibilities I can think of. First, I carried it only holding its toes and letting the body dangle. I guess I would do that to keep from having bird matter ooze into my hands. However, since I didn’t really care much about transporting a dead, stiff and partially flat bird, I doubt that I was careful to only carry it by a foot. Option 2, place it in my backpack. I don’t think I would have done this. You see, my backpack was a homemade backpack with ropes for straps and no way to close it up. Things would fall out all the time, like books, my lunch, Star Wars figures… stuff. No no, I was wise enough to know that that backpack was not secure for carrying things. The third option is that I cradled it in my hands all the way to school. I think this might have been the case. I do remember cradling it in my hands as I displayed that dead bird to each and every kid in the class.
Thats right, my teacher let me bring a dead bird into my class for show and tell. She was somehow able to hide what had to have been some form of disgust from me. I was told to wash my hands, she got out a plastic bag to keep it in, then, she allowed me to parade that lifeless carcass up and down the rows of desks in that classroom. One or two possibly asked to pet it. I’m sure if it was up to me, they did. However, once I got home, told my mom the wonderful story and showed her my find, my mom, not one to hide disgust, had me get rid of it promptly.
With this story in mind, I am in shock that I have to send you a formal email requesting permission for my daughter to bring Pebbles to her first grade class for show and tell. Pebbles is a live female guinea pig that practices healthy self grooming habits. Her teacher has advance notice. No one in the history of mankind has had any injury or illness beyond a minor scrape or nibble from a guinea pig in the history of all mankind. Thousands of years! I am guessing on this one, but I am probably right. Wikipedia it if you don’t believe me. I accept the challenge.
In conclusion, can my daughter please bring her guinea pig to her first grade class for show and tell?
PS Actually, I think I do understand, times are different now, etc…
But at least we have a black president!