One of the advantages to going to a tiny village junior school in rural England is that School Trips were full of intrigue. Once they took us on an 8 mile Mystery Trip to a different village, (that was even smaller than ours), to visit a taxidermist. 
I was 8ish and I’d already started collecting dead stuff from the fields so it was possible they’d laid this whole trip on just for me.  I like to think so.  I was in heaven.  There were wild animals, cherished pets, birds, even fish, all in varying stages of stuffedness.  He was quite a youngish bloke but he had an old man’s beard, and a heavy Aran-style jumper.  He loved what he did, and although I didn’t say much, he could tell I was interested.  I was actually at the front of the small crowd with my nose up against the Perspex boxes.  I poked at the springs and the wood shavings and sawdust.  I was always happy to stick my finger in some ooze.
Maybe he was looking for an apprentice and my school thought I was the one.  I could have wandered the roads looking for minimally damaged roadkill; or lurked in the vets waiting for people to look sad about their dead dogs, a dishevelled angel promising kapok resurrection.

I was reminded of this when I was visiting a school with my daughter the other day.  The science department had made the effort to impress us, laid out some skeletons, and a teacher was dissecting a pig's heart.  I was caught by a teacher opening one of the skeleton boxes to get a better look at a skull.  My daughter was a bit embarrassed, again.  And, though this is off-topic, in another room I disgusted her further by suggesting that it would be good if the Van Der Graf Generator she was about to have a go on,( to make her hair stick out on end), killed hairlice.
CrookedMan CrookedMan
Oct 15, 2012