Anne was so engaged at school yesterday that she forgot to take any pictures of the sheep. Consequently, I am taking the liberty of substituting this picture of a pony that Anne took this last weekend, for the sheep. Afterwards, I’ll bequeath it to Jane, who always wanted a pony, but so far has not gotten one.
Anne is a substitute teacher in the MRH school district. As such she has a new job almost every day. She has been substituting for almost ten years now and as such has held almost every position in the district. It’s not for nothing that she was named MRH Citizen of the Year, earilier this year. On Wednesday, she added a new job category to her already overflowing resume, shepherd.
MRH has a nutritional education program called Seed to Table. This program teaches good nutrition and helps fight childhood obesity. Part of its purpose is to teach the city kids that compose most of the MRH student body where their food really comes from and no the local Schnucks grocery store is the correct answer. To this end, earlier this year, Anne helped to lead a field trip to Soulard Market, the oldest farmers market west of the Mississippi. Wednesday though her job was to be like Little Bo Peep, but this time around her job description called for her not to lose her sheep or any of her students either.
Wednesday morning, before school, Anne was a little uncertain what the job of shepherd entailed. She asked me to find her knee-high rubber boots, just in case she was given the herculean task of mucking out the Augean stables for a day. As it turns out she didn’t need her boots, maybe because she had an intern to assist her? You know what they say flows downhill. Her main responsibility as shepherd was to introduce about half a dozen classes of kindergarteners and first graders to the sheep. “Pet them on the head and stay away from their back ends, because otherwise their hooves might step on your feet and that would hurt. Also, they might pee on you back there.”
Anne’s the avid knitter, so naturally she had some yarn with her that day. The intern and Anne were able to teach the children the process of how sheep’s fleece eventually becomes knitted hats and gloves. At the end, Anne held up her latest skein of yarn.
The sheep are just on loan to the school district. The school’s garden plot is too small to sustain anything larger than chickens. After the sheep, goats and even a pony is scheduled to rotate through the school. You see Jane, if you had attended a truly enlightened school district, you would have gotten your pony fix in kindergarten, when you really needed it.