Story Go Round 1/31/2003, round 1, #1

"Modern Economics"

Well, the first few weeks were pretty depressing, and we won't talk about them. The chinchillas went nuts after that. Its amazing what a female will do. They carted her off like mice with prize cheese. I hated to see her go, but the promotion and raise soothed those sensations to a dull ache. Mr. Barnaby couldn't thank me enough for my assistance in the matter.

Then things got better fast: the frogs hatched, and a whole new bumper crop of them came on strong. The mosquito population was truly in trouble at that point. By the middle of spring, my whole seventh grade bio class had far too much to report on. I could tell they were getting ideas, and stirring the lab rats against me. Being the adult I had to set the example. The question was, which example to set - a good one? a bad one? a weird one?

I decided on the moral one: journalistic integrity and scientific credibility - we took it to the Christian Science Monitor. "It's another example of man trying to play God," was all they had to say. I swatted a mosquito idly buzzing by my ear. I found a rat nibbling on my foot. No, sorry, that was a Next Generation Chinchilla, not a rat. I captured it in my burlap bag and went next door to the Buddhist temple. I sat, and pondered the transience of all things - especially humanity, given current ecological indicators - and listened to the faint shrieking of adolescent girls outside. Surprisingly, the chinchilla didn't seem to mind. I was amazed to see Mr. Bill Barnaby inside the temple as well. I gave him my rehearsed bow, my torso becoming fully horizontal. He ignored me but I would not be ignored this time. I was, after all, trying to set an example to the students, and he was the Superintendent and ought to support me.

"The animals are coming back," I blurted in the echoes of the administrative hall.

"It's too late," the superintendent explained: "Your budget's already been cut."