Friday, May 16, 2014

A short lesson on the inevitable victory of death, destruction and disappointment

Another day, and another slew of contributions to Britain's funniest blog – Angry People in Local Newspapers.

And every now and then I get one that strikes a chord with me. This time it's one of the repeated themes that I see on the blog – school gets chickens, chickens go missing, kids are photographed looking sad.

These stories come round with depressing regularity, and it makes me wonder why is it that schools will invest in chickens if they're all going end up tortured by local psychos, casseroled by local crooks, or ripped to shreds by foxes.

Then I realised that this is the exact outcome that schools are hoping for. Yes, the kids learn citizenship, responsibility and how to care for something with the precious gift of life. But they're also taught to expect disappointment, betrayal and the inevitable victory of the cold hand of death.

This is the exact lesson I learned when our teachers set up a chicken run outside our classroom window, the lesson being "You will arrive in class one day to find a bloody and feathery mess after the chickens were eaten by foxes".

And so it came to pass that the chickens were eaten by foxes; and the run remained outside our classroom window for the rest of the year, a bloody and feathery reminder that the things you love will be eaten by foxes. It was a lesson deeply ingrained in my mind, reflected in my (rejected) submission for the year art project: Chickens Getting Eaten By Foxes, A Study In Red.

Chickens Getting Eaten By Foxes, A Study In Red (Medium: Poster paint on teacher's Ford Escort)
 And it was a lesson that rang true. For when my grandfather got a pet tortoise, my take-home lesson was this: "He'll end up dead and in a pie."


Facey Romford said...

It wouldn't be too much of a transformation for a tortoise who is, after all, already alive in a pie.

Vicus Scurra said...

Not,in any way, an attempt at selfpromotion

TRT said...

You killed your grandad and put him in a pie?!?!?!

I'm telling the Daily Mail on you.

Anonymous said...

Are we sure the school chicken run held chickens? It seems there is a pile of leafy lettuce in the pen. I'm thinking rabbits - or tortoises.

The Dancing Cake Tin said...

No, definitely chickens. You can tell this cos the kids are in blue tops.

Kaptain Kobold said...

Chickens eat green leafy stuff. They prefer it still in the vegetable patches they're growing in it's true, but they'll eat it however it comes.

Chickens will eat anything.

Even chicken.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected TDCT. Here I was thinking the blue tops signified a secret allegiance to those bekilted Picts - the distraught girl in the centre has a Caledonian forehead as wide as Fingal's Cave - and had nowt to do with the species of animal.