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Monday, September 21, 2009

More Dead Class Pets

Especially given the title of this blog, I just have to tell about a panicked phonecall I got this morning. So I was going about my morning school preparations (which today included copying, jamming the copier, unjamming the copier, jamming the copier, and unjamming the copier), when I got a phonecall from one of the first grade teachers downstairs.

"Meg said to call you because you had a class pet that died" he said. Apparently word has spread about my fish-killing incident (still being passed around years later) and I've now become the go-to source for any class pet deaths. Nothing whatsoever qualifies me for this responsibility--I don't like animals, I'm not in any way skilled at disposing of the dead ones, and I find it just as hard as the next guy to break the news of a deceased pet to children. Yet, there I was, giving advice on how to handle his situation.

"Our hamster that we got Friday died over the weekend. It wasn't eating. The whole room smells like dead rat." I reassured Tim that he wasn't the first person to kill a class pet and that he wouldn't be the last, though I didn't offer to come down there to help with the disposal or the smell. I did, though, suggest that he take the cage out and tell the kids that the hamster wasn't eating and wasn't doing well, and then have the rest of the day to think about how to tell them the next day. Maybe even bring in the counselor for reinforcement.

If you know of anyone who kills a class pet in the near future--apparently the thing to do is to send him my way!


Jim G said...

Wise advice. Reminds me of the story of the two brothers who lived with their mother and their cat and were totally devoted to them, never leaving them to go away. Finally one brother conviced the other brother to go away for a few days on a vacation. The brother called home the first night and asked "So how's mom?" "Mom's fine." "How's the cat?" "The cat died." So the brother immediately came home and was overcome with grief. Finally after a week, he said to his brother "You know, you shouldn't have told me the cat died when I called. You should have said 'The cat's up a tree and we can't get it down.' Then when I called again, you could have said 'The cat's still up a tree and we can't get it down.' That way, I would have had time to prepare myself."

Two years passed, and the brother again went away for a few days for a vacation. He called the first night and asked "So how's mom?" "Mom's up a tree and we can't get her down."

Sarah Garb said...

Yes--it's exactly like that! Perhaps I'll try that joke out on some kids tomorrow on our bus ride to go hiking.....