Rupert Howell column

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 19, 2011

Lamb at school? Against the rules. Let’s change policy.

In case you haven’t yet heard, Mary had a little lamb. It wasn’t just any lamb, it was obviously a very cute little lamb whose fleece was white as snow.

Everywhere that Mary went the cute little white lamb was sure to go.

The problem began when it followed her to school one day—which was “against the rules.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The story goes that the lamb made children laugh and play and was obviously  a distraction taking valuable minutes away from classroom learning time—the chief function of the school. Teachers lost control—part of the day was ruined.

Mary received only a slight reprimand for breaking school policy and was ordered to take her little lamb home and be sure it stayed there.

By the end of the day after students had texted and tweeted reports of the incident to their parents and friends, school board members were barraged with claims of animal cruelty and student harassment against Mary and her little lamb. The whole community was up in arms with many appalled that the school had such a stupid and vicious rule about keeping cute little white lambs away from school.

Such an outrage followed that board members called a special meeting that night and struck down the rule that made lambs illegal at the school.

Upon further inspection, there was no rule that specified keeping lambs away from school; the rule that applied to Mary’s lamb specified that “no pets would be allowed on school grounds.”

So the rule was stricken and viral media what it is, the next day things began to change.

Little Johnny wanted everyone to see his English bulldog named Heifer. It was a fine animal all right. But not only was it an ugly breed, it slobbered like its cousin Bully and offended and made jealous all UM Black Bear fans who didn’t own a real black bear and no longer had access to a grumpy old Colonel to bring to school.

Cissy Sturgis decided if Little Johnny could bring his bulldog, she would bring Peter her pet piggy. Peter the pig was popular with the pupils, except Ahmud, a new American of Muslim faith and Levi, an observant Jew, who both believed swine to be unclean and whose parents threatened with a lawsuit.

Lulu Gurlini brought her fine cat the next day. The cat was fairly well behaved until it met up with Jerry Jenkins’  gerbil when it escaped its cage.

A bloody massacre followed— not an educational experience pre-k and elementary school students should witness.

The fact that Kimberly Henfroe’s allergy list included feline hair also added to the problem. Lulu’s cat’s hair was already everywhere after the gerbil slaughter and more was added when the slobbering bulldog jumped in the fray on the gerbil’s behalf strewing cat hair everywhere.

Stanley Swindle’s  pet scorpion looked more like a crab or lobster than a spider. But don’t tell that to Bubba Jones who suffers severe arachniphobia. He now sees a “counselor” on a weekly basis.

Sammy Snyder’s slithering snake named Satan wasn’t poisonous, but tell that to half the population and they’ll tell you, “the only good snake is . . .” Teachers, parents, board members and most students were ready to draw the line with Sammy and Satan.

The groundskeeper and custodian were both ready to throw in the towel and threatened to quit due to the fact that Murph Bridges parked his pet horse that he now rode to school daily outside the playground entrance where students would track pony poopy in and out the building and onto the walkways.

Soon the “no pet rule” was quietly reinstated.

You see, it really wasn’t all about a little white lamb, anyway, was it