The Zoo

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There once was a little girl, usually a rather cute and sweet girl.  She could be trouble at times with a sharp tongue and a quick temper when she didn't get her way.  When she was six, her first grade class found out they were taking a field trip to the zoo.  Excitedly, she brought home the permission slip to be signed and returned the next day.

That night at dinner, she raised some sort of fuss.  She may have answered her mother back or stamped her feet in a fit of anger.  The permission slip was quickly torn into two, then four, then six and was thrown out with the scraps from dinner.  There was no turning back.  If she didn't bring her slip in, there would be no trip to the zoo.

On the morning of the trip, the girl dressed in her uniform and arrived to her classroom filled with classmates dressed in play clothes.  As the first graders boarded the bus, the principal came to escort her to a classroom to do busy work.  With a puzzled look the principal wondered under her breath why the girl's mother sent her to school that day.  The principal didn't realize this was how the girl was being punished.  The girl didn't let on and just shrugged her shoulders as she told the principal she would like to go to a third grade classroom for the day.

The third grade girls were happy to have a first grader to play with and made her feel right at home.  During the day, someone brought the third grade teacher a cup of ice cream from Carvel, which the teacher gave to the girl to eat in class while she colored.

When the first graders arrived back from the trip, the girl returned to her classroom to claim her coat.  She stood at the closet and watched as her classmates gathered around their desks showing off their souvenirs.  It was just another day at school for her, as she packed her folder into her schoolbag and grabbed her Mighty Mouse lunchbox.

At home she was asked how it felt to see all her friends with their souvenirs.  They asked her how it was being at school all day knowing her friends were at the zoo.  When the girl spoke about her day and told about playing with new friends and eating Carvel, she was just dismissed.  There was not supposed to be any fun that day, she was being punished.

Thirty years later, the girl still cries when she thinks of the zoo.

 

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