Friday, September 14, 2007

The Most Important Thing

Our schools strongly promote a healthy social environment. Toward this end, the school counselors are involved with the kids on a weekly basis. In addition to in-class sessions where the counselor leads discussions about what to do if you're bullied or how to respond if you feel you are being treated unfairly, the kids "win" lunch in the school counselor's room once a month or so. This event brings a small group of kids from mixed classes together, presumably with a moral goal in mind although my kids talk most at home about what kind of drink or dessert was served.

This year, the school is focusing on the school-home connection. Our first joint venture arrived in the form of a short story we're meant to read at bedtime that will be a 'discussion starter' at some point in school. The directions tell us that our expressive words and facial expressions can bring the tale to life! Somehow, I doubt they're talking about the incredulous eyes and pained winces that Chris and I both experienced while reading the tale...but I digress. The tale is of a group of gentle beasts (Coyotes aren't 'gentle'! hollers Ross), on their way from the old world - where we learn food will soon run out - to the glorious new land of plenty. Horse, the cocky leader, whose "mane flew with the spring-like zephyrs" (vocabulary quiz, anyone?), jauntily leads the group to the new stomping grounds but stops short at a rushing river, unable to cross on the narrow, round, log. The other animals all scamper across and, once safely on the other side looking back at Horse, experience a wide range of emotions - anger, abandonment, insecurity, sadness. None of them can fathom that Horse might be scared of crossing the log. Eventually, after an appropriate amount of incredulous taunting, a small voice comes out of nowhere with the idea of everyone helping Horse to cross the log. The material animals point out they can't carry, push, or pull Horse over, and suggest therefore that they will not be able to help but the ethereal small voice offers that they can keep Horse company! So, they all troop back over the log, to the starting side. Coyote whispers to Horse that the MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO KEEP GOING. Horse lines up between the other animals and they inch over the log together and then continue on to the new lands, where they live to this day. The story ends with the admonishment to always remember what is important.

Having made it through the story without using any MST3K voices and trying not to gag over the total B-movie sappiness (..."Finally after almost forever, and almost a longer time, Fox cried out..."), I asked the kids what the most important thing is? Ross immediately replied, "Stopping the puck!" and my heart was once again glad.


Chaotic Joy said...

Hee Hee Hee. Glad to see the boy has his priorities in order. Did Ross see you looking pained and grimacing at the book? There might be a point in that.

Grandmoo said...

Has anyone bothered to mention to the author of this drivel that horses can swim, or that the coyote would probably not have worried about finding food because he would have eaten the other animals? Two points for Karen and another two for Chris for reading that to the boys!

sister k said...

1 pt. for reading the hollywood reject of a story to the boys. 1 pt. taken away for not telling the boys to tell the teacher that this is a piece of crap and your parents won't touch the (insert appropriate potty language word here) thing. but you get the 1 pt. back for pain and suffering. oh how do you refrain?

Kicking N. Screaming said...

Oh I don't know that you get a point here...Ross stopped the puck.