So, on my first solo day without Mr. Finn, who's away at a conference, it comes to our attention through one of the moms that the moose has died. Well, what's a teacher to do? I asked the kids and they of course wanted to go see, so we followed Becky out to the site where we had recently seen lots of fresh moose sign. Becky had been crying, feeling so badly about the moose, and I also was feeling pretty sad. The kids? Not so much. I know they love animals, but they were handling death a heckuva lot better than us adults. In fact, they made up a song, to the tune of "Who Let the Dogs Out"..... Who Let the Moose Die. Seriously. If you're a PETA person (not the People Eating Tasty Animals folks, the other ones...) shield your eyes.
Right away the kids were asking if they could 'pry the mouth open' with a stick so they could see inside. "Where's the tongue? Are those the teeth?"
and on the other end came a shout of, "Look! Ms. Finn! I think it was pooping when it died. See?" oh man. yes, yes. I see. Moving right along. They were very hopeful that, in fact, we were going to take bones home with us. Never mind the stench. Never mind the liquefied innards. Let's just get right in there. Being a primitive skills gal, with moose and deer hides currently racked to the side of my house, I can honestly say that these kids are my peeps.
I happen to have a moose skull at my house that has been picked pretty clean, so I brought it down after lunch for the kids to look at. They were fascinated by how little is left of the nose and by the size and shape of the back teeth. And the eye holes are huge, Ms. Finn!
Sigh. I never did get to see the moose alive, though Mr. Finn and I walked practically every day, always keeping our eye out. It was a special thing that it swam all the way out here, to our tiny island and lived here for almost two years. It's still teaching us. As we left, one little boy turned to me, saying very seriously, "Ms. Finn, that's a level 4."
"Yes, Cadin, it is." Decomposers at work.