Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Beware the "Elephan"

My kid came home with a finished 1st-grade assignment that makes me wonder if perhaps she needs some anger counselling.

After reading the classic If You Take A Mouse To School in class, the kiddies had to fill out their own paper filling in the blanks to this prompt:

If you take a _____________________ to school, ____________________________.

Great, right? It gets the kids to use their imaginations and apply it to a book they've read.

Ainsley's finished prompt read like this (unedited):

"If you take an elephan to school, I wude make him stomp everbudy."

No. Not scary at all.

Then there's the illustration.

It's quite good, really. Ainsley picks up a little artistic ability from Jason's side of the family. She drew a big floppy smiling purple elephant that looks just like her beloved Lumpy. Except that in the picture Lumpy goes on a murderous King-Kong like rampage.

His two front feet are raised in the air and right below them are two kids with dialogue bubbles next to their mouths filled with "Aaaaaaaaa!"

There's a third figure off to the side with brown hair and a big grin on her face, sitting at a desk. That would be Ainsley herself.

When I showed it to Jason, I expected alarm and concern. Instead, he cracked up.

I failed to see the humor in an illustrated version of a death-by-elephant massacre. Though I did appreciate it as a work of art.

When we sat down and asked Ainsley about the picture, her big brown eyes twinkled and she laughed her sweet, innocent (or so I think) little laugh and said she was just trying to be funny and was just kidding. She said she knew that a real elephant stomping kids would kill them and that wouldn't be funny and she wouldn't want that. She's only six, and seemingly wouldn't hurt a fly (mostly because she's afraid of most insects), so I am giving her the benefit of the doubt. But could this signal some inner rage and potential for violence? Did Ted Bundy draw pictures of largish purple elephants wreaking havoc in the classroom?

Just in case, I am never letting her take an elephant to school.

1 comment:

Karen said...

I'm sorry, but I cracked up too at your description of her artwork. It sounds like she's just got a wicked sense of humor. And that's a good thing. I think the problem with Ted Bundy was that he didn't draw stuff like that! ;)