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Commentary: Show and Share

School's out for the summer, but let's reminisce a little.
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You gotta love show and share time. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

I must take time to share a glimpse into that well known, but seldom witnessed time of day called, “Show and Share”.

Let us be like the proverbial “fly on the wall” and join these children as they display for all the world (classmates), a wide variety of highly prized items. I’m talkin’ wide here people. We might see anything from a new baby lamb, to a well-worn teddy bear, to a lump of fungus found on a rotting tree. Wait—that last one was brought in by me, so it doesn’t count. In any case, you get the picture.

Most recently, I was lucky to be present for the revealing of three fabulous objects. Part of the fun in showing these favoured items is in keeping them bundled carefully out of sight. A description, of sorts, is then given, and the audience must guess what in the world the object could be. As you can well imagine, there’s a lot of wild speculation at a time such as this. Let’s head straight in for a play-by-play.

Johnny sidles to the front of the room grasping a plastic grocery bag. His eyes shift furtively from his classmates to the inner sanctum of his sack as he prepares an accurate description of its contents for the multitude.

“It’s white and it has teeth,” he says, checking the sack once more for accuracy's sake. He believes in brevity. Hands shoot up all over the room.

“Is it a dinosaur?” “A dog?” “No, it’s a rabbit,” yells a tiny girl, leaping from her chair with glee. “Can I hold it?”

“Nope,” Johnny says with quiet triumph. He rustles in the bag, preparing for his big finish. “You’re all wrong.”

In a perfect parody of the finest circus showman, he draws forth the cherished possession with a flourish and lifts it far above his head.

“It’s the jawbone of a dead coyote!” he shouts. (Several decayed teeth clatter to the floor.)

A hush falls upon the crowd. The teacher gasps. With great ceremony Johnny then paces past the desks of his classmates, treating them to a glimpse of this rare find, (also scrambling under desks for further mouldering molars that tumble to earth).

Marcia steps forward clutching her backpack. Teacher holds up a hand. “Wait till Johnny is through showing us his dead coyote teeth, dear,” she says. Then her eyes swivel to meet mine, and she whispers hoarsely, “What did I just say?”

Marcia begins. “It’s purple and hard,” she says softly. This time it’s something small enough to fit in her clenched fist and she peeps at it through her fingers to ensure her description is precise.

“Is it a spaceship?” “A turtle?” “An old grape,” hollers the last to guess. I marvel at their imaginations.

She opens her tiny hand for all to see and be amazed. “No! It’s a rock wrapped in a shoelace! I found it on the road.” Dutifully, although it holds none of the dead animal’s charm, each child inspects it carefully.

We move on to Sam. Smiling smugly to himself, Sam steps into position, both hands gripping his backpack tightly. Suddenly he whirls about on one foot and rams his entire head inside the voluminous pack. One can only assume it is in order to ensure precision of detail.

“Shufnig huffle tuff,” he says. Further incoherent mumbling issues from the interior of the bag.

“Sammy,’ the teacher says patiently, “we can’t hear you.” His head reappears. Old cookie crumbs trickle from his hair and tumble lightly to the floor.

“It’s green and it has a light,” he cries. Then, even as his friends raise their hands to guess, he yells, “It’s a watch!” The bag falls, disregarded to the floor as he capers about with the timepiece held on high. Robbed of her guess, a friend asks a reasonable question.

“What’s it good for?”

Sammy pauses, considering this weighty matter at length. “I dunno. I use the light under the blankets at night ‘cause I’m scared of the dark,” he then answers with refreshing candour.

And there you have it. A real fly-on-the-wall experience brought to you in living colour by a woman who absolutely loves “Show and Share”.

You’re welcome.

To order books or contact Helen please go to myprairiewool.com or write PO Box 55, Marshall, SK. S0M1R0.