I read this book last week called Oh, Ranger! It's a collection of stories from National Park Rangers throughout the United States.
SPOILER ALERT! I am now going to summarize one of the stories called "The Food Web."
This was a ranger from Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco. He was working with an elementary school group using two animals: a banana slug from the Redwoods and a crab from the bay. They were comparing and contrasting the land animal to the sea animal.
The ranger described having all of the children sit down on the pier to keep anyone from accidentally taking a swim. Sounded like a very attentive group. This ranger had set a crab trap off the pier prior to the arrival of the school children so when it was time, he lifted the trap and there was exactly one crab in it (they usually catch more). He specifically mentioned that this crab was just perfect for the presentation--behaved well for the ranger's needs to teach about that animal. When he put the crab down to demonstrate walking, the crab actually walked nicely on cue, etc. So, when the ranger was finished, he held the crab up and called out to the children, who by this time had fallen in love with the thing, "Should we keep 'im or send 'im home?" Of course, the children wanted the crab to continue its happy crab existence and the ranger had successfully helped them connect to the resource, so they all shouted back, "Send 'im home!!!"
The ranger gently tossed the crab back into the water.
Just then, a seagull swooped by, picked up the crab, landed next to the wide-eyed children, and began ripping the crab's legs off one by one, demolishing the thing. I guess they really did "send 'im home!"
The reason I love this story so much is because I appreciate the perspective of all sides. I teach children so I can only imagine their reactions. I've been the park ranger giving a program that didn't exactly go as planned. And the seagull? Well, everyone's got to eat and you must credit the fellow for patiently sitting through the ranger's program before having a meal! I've been chuckling about this one all weekend.
19 hours ago