Mrs. Badger was a teacher at Forest Elementary. She cared about her students and worked hard to help them grow and become the best animals they could. She was lucky to have a class with many different animals. She knew that when different animals learned together they brought different skills which helped everyone learn.
One day Mrs. Badger took her class on a field trip to the pond. Before they left Mr. Fox, the school director, gave Mrs. Badger a bag of apples and said
“Remember Mrs. Badger, at Forest Elementary we believe in equality and fairness. We treat all children the same. Make sure every student gets one apple”.
Mrs. Badger said she understood, collected her class and they trooped off to the pond.
After a long and interesting walk the class arrived at the pond. Mrs. Badger went to each student and handed them an apple. As she sat on a log enjoying her apple and the wonderful day she noticed that her students were not all behaving the same way.
Mrs. Badger noticed the rabbits. They lived in a warren by the by the base of a large Oak tree. Their lives were simple but they were well looked after and cared for by their parents. The rabbits were sitting quietly, munching on their apples and happily chatting.
Mrs. Badger also noticed the raccoons. They lived in a lovely field of straw right next to the apple orchard. The straw kept them warm over the winter and cool in the summer. It was soft to sleep on and smelled wonderful. A large apple tree sat in the middle of the field so the raccoons were very well fed and a little bit fat. They were never hungry, their coats were thick and lustrous, their eyes were bright and they were well rested.The field of straw was the best place to live in the whole forest. The raccoons were very lucky.
Mrs. Badger saw that the raccoons were so full from breakfast they weren’t eating the apples. Some of them were playing catch with them and some just threw them away.
Mrs. Badger then noticed the rats. They lived in a hole in a drainage ditch by the road. It was wet and cold most of the time and the noise from the traffic kept them awake. There was very little food in the ditch so the rats were skinny and small with matted fur, and they smelled awful.
Mrs. Badger noticed that the apples she had given the rats had been greedily gobbled. In fact, she thought, they snatched them from her hand. She noticed the rats were hungrily eyeing the apples the raccoons didn’t want and had thrown on the ground. But they were afraid to go and take them because the raccoons were so much bigger and stronger.
Mrs. Badger thought about all she saw and she began to feel uncomfortable .
“Maybe treating students equally isn’t always the same as treating them fairly. Giving apples to students that aren’t hungry while other students are starving doesn’t make any sense at all.
When I get back to school I’m going to talk to Mr. Fox.
There’s got to be a better way!”
And they all lived happily…?