Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Grade 7 Fable Time

My son, who's in Grade 7, is learning about fables. This is one of the ones he had to read and answer questions about:
The Mouse, the Frog, and the Hawk
A Mouse who always lived on the land, by an unlucky chance formed an intimate acquaintance with a Frog, who lived for the most part in the water. The Frog, one day intent on mischief, bound the foot of the Mouse tightly to his own. Thus joined together, the Frog first of all led his friend the Mouse to the meadow where they were accustomed to find their food. After this, he gradually led him towards the pool in which he lived, until reaching the very brink, he suddenly jumped in, dragging the Mouse with him. The Frog enjoyed the water amazingly, and swam croaking about, as if he had done a good deed. The unhappy Mouse was soon suffocated by the water, and his dead body floated about on the surface, tied to the foot of the Frog. A Hawk observed it, and, pouncing upon it with his talons, carried it aloft. The Frog, being still fastened to the leg of the Mouse, was also carried off a prisoner, and was eaten by the Hawk.
Isn't that a delightful tale? And so full of important "moral" lessons, too. Were you to ask me what its moral was, I might reply it's that animals should shun inter-species friendships, since look where they ultimately lead. (I'm sure, in excruciatingly "multicultural" Ontario classrooms, that is most definitely not the teachable moment the curriculum-devisers had in mind.)

Apparently, though, the real lesson is: "Harm hatch, harm catch." Meaning that if you're a dickhead to your friends--like the frog is to the mouse--you're going to get your comeuppance from an animal that's bigger and stronger than you.

Or something like that.

I won't share all my son's responses to the questions he was asked (some of which made me laugh as loud and as long as I did upon reading the "animal manslaughter (so to speak)" tale. I will merely share one of them. When asked for a word to describe the mouse, my son wrote, "The word I would use to describe the mouse is 'dumb.'"

Which is a lot smarter, I think, than this silly, silly tale.

1 comment:

Paul said...

This fable has been approved by national socialist CUPE mandated guidlines for "meducating" students to live their lives in fear and distrust.