This week was Pet Week at Zeke's school. Oh my. Now we're talking. By now, Zeke's teacher knows I'm a "pet person" and has bonded with me over one or two furry friend stories. You see, she's a...gulp...HORSE OWNER!!! jfasdopbniopaertnjaop!!!!!! God knows I'm ready for a few tea parties at her house. So anyway, Teacher Michele had the SPCA visit Zeke's class this week with a few adoptable pets for the children to meet. In addition to the SPCA visit, Teacher Michele wanted the next best thing to visit the school - a representative from the Zeke Zoo. No problem I said. Would she like a furry or feathered friend I inquired. She chose a feathered friend, so yesterday I obliged. Wow was that a massacre. It started out easy enough. I transferred the new bird, Stuart, into a small cage and tucked him into my SUV. He wasn't quite sure where we were going, which I later found out was quite to his benefit. Upon arriving at the school, I signed into the visitor's log and headed down to Zeke's classroom. As I opened the preschool door, it got prehistoric. Tots came running from all corners of the room. The snack time that they were enjoying was forgotten, yet still clinging to their dirty, sticky fingers as they poked and prodded at Stuart's little cage. (The worst part??? My Dooney & Bourke purse was getting ALLLL kinds of nastiness on it from the greasy popcorn they were all eating! Not too cool, lil' guys.) I tried to hold the cage above their reach, but the weight of 10 preschoolers was pulling me down into their makeshift mosh pit. I felt myself starting to fall into them, when finally the teachers wrestled the mob to the ground. I gathered myself, straightened my hair and Stuart's feathers, checked the lipstick, and proceeded to circle time where Stewie and I were the center of attention. After a brief speech about the care of tiny Stu, the class was supposed to line up one-by-one to come up and take a "close look" at Stuart. Then the Big Fakeout happened. Yeah, they lined up. Yeah, they started to come up one by one. Then suddenly it turned ugly. It was an angry mob of preschoolers on Pop Rocks and Coca-Cola. They hit, they shoved, and I actually saw one little girl reach for the EYES of another little boy. She literally wanted to claw his eyes out - and in a Quaker School!!!! All for the love of Stuart. It was then that I realized I had to grab my bird, my bag and go...and not necessarily in that order if you know how much I treasure my purses.
So, as Pet Week comes to an end and I look back upon the beauty of the lessons taught to my son this week, I reflect upon what I've taken away from it all: when facing a classroom of preschoolers, wear protective gear and carry an old purse. Oh, and also, if you are lonely and can provide a loving home, don't forget to check out your local shelter - there's tons of love waiting to be adopted. That's how we found this special guy: