The animals in the forest recognized that they needed to become as educated as the humans who seemed smarter than the animals were. They decided to start a school. 

There were a rabbit, an eagle, a squirrel, a duck, and a cardinal. They elected a Board of Education and developed a curriculum. The activity curriculum consisted of running, climbing, swimming and flying. Everyone had to take all the subjects so they could meet the problems of the “new world.”

The duck was excellent in swimming, better than the teacher, but he barely made passing grades in flying and was a very poor runner. He had to drop swimming to practice his running which caused problems for his webbed feet and his swimming became only average. 

Average was acceptable in this school so no one worried about it except the duck.

The cardinal was really beautiful at flying but swimming soaked her feathers and tree climbing cut her feet and broke her wings so even her flying was no longer successful.

The rabbit started at the top of his class in running, but he had a nervous breakdown because of so much make-up work in swimming. The eagle was a problem student and had to be severely disciplined. In climbing class he beat all the others to the top of the tree but he broke all the rules and got there by his own method.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing but the teacher made him start from the ground up and his flying expertise suffered when he couldn’t start at the tree-top. He developed a “charley-horse” from over exertion and got  “C” in climbing and a “D” in running.

The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the Board of Education would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They joined the ground hogs and the gophers to start a private school. 

The school administrators were happy because everyone was taking the same subjects and studying the same thing and becoming like everyone else.  One rule strictly enforced was that everyone must match each other and no one was allowed to be different.

JoAn Martin is a retired teacher with five published novels. Reach her at or

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