Down a country road and up a hill, Ms. Fernybunch keeps a little school. The natural world offers the largest classroom of this little school and the materials for the children’s play are often not things found in a catalogue, but are seasonal gifts such as acorns, sticks and mosses. Occasioanlly, Ms. Fernybunch brings out tools that aid in the children’s discoveries. Bug jars, magnifying glasses and baskets for collecting. For students of nature and life need real tools. These tools give greater purpose and help the children to go deeper in their discoveries.
On this day, the tool was bug jars. The class set up base camp in the goat field and Ms Fernybunch handed the jars to eager hands.
“I don’t know what to put in my jar.” spoke one child with sadness.
"Go hunt!" Fernybunch commanded.
A group of children ran to a clump of tall grass filled with Queen Anne’s Lace. They squatted and waited. In the distance, Carter was busy collecting. His fingers quickly moving objects from the ground into the jar. How exciting thought Ms. Fernybunch. Nothing thrilled her more than children engaging in the world around them.
The morning play was coming to a close and lunch time was on the horizon. Ms. Fernybunch hooted to the children, the signal that it was time to gather. From all directions they ran. Most jars were stuffed with grass, or small berries for it was late in the season and most of the insect friends were buried under moist earth. Carter pushed his way to the front and proudly held his bug jar under Ms. Fernybunches nose.
The perfectly round feces piled to the top met her eyes. Carter was watiing for a response.
"You collected goat poop!" Ms. Fernybunch repeated.
Satisfacation spread across the child’s face. A collection is a collection and goat poop is no exception.