‘Hush, children hush! Is this a classroom or a fish market?’ Mrs. Bear asked, ‘Crow, is there something you’d like to share with the entire class?’
‘Miss,’ Crow stood up, ‘It wasn’t me; it was her!’ and pointed her beak towards Parrot.
‘Never mind. Let’s get back to our assignments.’
Mrs. Bear returned to correcting notebooks while the students focused on math problems.
‘Ah! Saved by the bell,’ said Parrot as Mrs. Bear left.
‘Now, tell us everything!’ said Crow.
The children crowded around Parrot as she enthralled the audience with the latest gossip.
‘Stop it. You’re making an ass of yourself,’ said Donkey.
‘No! It’s true… Mama saw them.’ She puffed out her chest, ‘you think my mama’s lying!?’
‘Good morning, children,’ Mrs. Owl said as she entered the classroom.
‘Good morning miss,’ the children sang in unison. The musical greeting always warmed her heart.
‘Some interesting discussion there?’ she smiled at the group huddled around Parrot. ‘Come on, back to your benches now.’
She turned towards the blackboard and wrote FAMILY. ‘Turn to page 55 of your book. Today we will learn about – ’
Crow interrupted her, ‘Miss, do you know what Parrot said?’
‘Don’t believe him. He’s just a birdbrain!’ said Donkey.
An angry Parrot stood up on the table and flapped her wings furiously, ‘I’m not.’
‘Yes, you are!’ the class echoed
Mrs. Owl tapped the duster on the table, sending a cloud of white dust all around, ‘quiet please!’
‘But miss,’ said Fox, with a wide grin on his face, ‘it’s related to today’s lesson…’
‘Alright, spill it.’ Mrs. Owl settled down in the teacher’s chair.
‘Miss, a new lamb family has moved into town. A strange family they are – six babies, and two adults, but-’ Parrot stepped closer to the teacher, and whispered, ‘they don’t have a father!’
‘Oh, that’s so sad. Poor babies.’
Parrot snickered ‘No, no, miss. That’s not the case. They have two mommies.’
She sang in a sing-song voice,
Sitting under a tree
‘Miss, how’s that possible?’ asked Donkey.
Mrs. Owl wrapped her feathers around herself, ‘children there are all kinds of families. Some have a father and a mother, while a few may have two mommies, or two daddies, or just a mummy or a daddy.’
She cocked her head to the side, ‘but tell me what’s important in a family?’
The answers brought a smile to her face.
‘It’s all these things which make a family. None of you said, only those children who have a mommy and a daddy are a happy family. I’m sure our new neighbors are a loving family too. We should never judge others for their choices.’
‘I’m sorry, miss. I understood my mistake’ said Parrot, turning red with shame.
‘What if we visit them after school today and get to know them?’
‘Yes!’ said the class in excitement.
Moral–Tolerance and acceptance are important in building relationships and spreading love.
Despite laws being passed favoring unisex marriages, there’s still a low level of acceptance in the society. Often people are judged for their choice, and members of LGBTQ community are not received with open arms.
This is my attempt at raising awareness for a more inclusive society.
This story won a First place at Penmancy.