I came across this Fable and it really resonated with me. So often I get doubts about my ability to home school. They sneak up and attack from behind on the days when I’m exhausted or emotionally spent. Sometimes I think life would be so much easier if I just sent the kids to public school, and truthfully it would be. Then I read something like The Animal School and our decision to home school is confirmed within me. We are giving our children the gift of being themselves, excelling in their natural talents, while aiding them without judgement with the things they struggle in. We are allowing them to pursue things that interest them while letting go of the unnecessary. I know the path we’ve chosen is not always going to be easy but I strongly believe in what we are doing for our children and so far, the results speak for themselves!
The Animal School: A Fable
by George Reavis
Once upon a time the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a “new world” so they organized a school. They had adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.
The duck was excellent in swimming. In fact, better than his instructor. But he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his webbed feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school so nobody worried about that, except the duck.
The rabbit started at the top of the class in running but had a nervous breakdown because of so much makeup work in swimming.
The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the treetop down. He also developed a “charlie horse” from overexertion and then got a C in climbing and D in running.
The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class, he beat all the others to the top of the tree but insisted on using his own way to get there.
At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceeding well and also run, climb and fly a little had the highest average and was valedictorian.
The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to a badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful private school.
Does this fable have a moral?
Note: This story was written when George Reavis was the Assistant Superintendent of the Cincinnati Public Schools back in the 1940s! This content is in the public domain and free to copy, duplicate, and distribute.