Lesson (bp coyle)

This is the day I dread each year. The day when I tell my class about food in history. I’ve been teaching for forty years and I still think that they are way too young to be hearing this. However, that’s the curriculum so best get on with it…

‘Children,’ I begin, ‘today we are going to learn about how people ate in the past.’ They beam at me with their eager, unsuspecting smiles. ‘Up until the practice was outlawed in the mid twenty first century, people ate a lot of meat.’

The usual confused faces stare at me, the usual little hands shoot into the air to ask the inevitable question. I indicate little Molly Switton, she’s never been brave enough to raise her hand before.

Miss, what’s meat?’

There’s always one know-it-all. This year it’s Bobby Kane. ‘Oh, my Daddy told me about this. It’s animals!’

Groan of disgust, looks of incredulity, even a few tears, it never changes.

Of course, I won’t be telling them that people still eat meat, that there is a thriving underground market for it.

And I certainly won’t be telling them what I am having for dinner tonight.

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