Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Ben and Jerry
I think Ben and Jerry are the luckiest guinea pigs in the world. Truly,I do.
Not only are they looked after so well....they have over 200 children who love them and a school who makes the most fuss over them that I have ever seen.
Ben and Jerry are the school guinea pigs. They were bought last year when they were just tiny little babies.
Straight away the vibes came through that these little fellows were going to be special. First was the decision to actually have a school pet,the children were consulted,the parents were consulted and there was the over whelming response that 'yes' let's have a pet. Then it was what sort of pet shall we have. When that was decided,the school council went and chose two little guinea pigs...brothers, and bought them back to school to live in their fabulous massive palace of an hutch.
Immediately these guinea pigs captivated the school,children,teachers and parents alike. We then had the vote for what to name them and in the end they were called Ben and Jerry.
Every week a different class looks after Ben and Jerry and the children take this role very seriously. They have to clean and feed them and of course snuggle and stroke them. Then someone is chosen to take them home for the weekend.
The guinea pigs and their antics regularly appear on the school newsletter and are a real talking point at school. So when it came to it being their first birthday I might have guessed it would not go un-noticed.
And it didn't!
The children who have school dinners were treated to a special party kind of meal and the packed lunch children were asked to make their lunchbox partyish so they could celebrate Ben and Jerry's special day. Chips took this very seriously and I packed his sandwich box with added special foods like a little sausage roll,a cheese string and a tinky little Cadbury Heroes fudge bar - it looked fuller than normal and relatively partyish. Chips also took two carrots down to school for the birthday boys.
That evening as the children started to drift out of school I noticed they were all holding something in their hands and when Chips appeared at my side I saw what it was. It was a keyring with two pictures of Ben and Jerry in it and the amusing thing was that the guinea pigs were in all different locations around the school.... on the trim trail in the playground,on the keyboard of a computer,on the piano,on the tyres outside in the playground. I couldn't believe my eyes at the photos of these two little rascals and I found it hard to comprehend just what time and care had been taken by the staff at the school. Young Chips loves his keyring and I must admit that I really smile whenever I look at it and whenever I think of how much those two guinea pigs are loved,by children,staff and parents alike,in our eyes they are stars!
Oh and Chips informed me that the head teacher went to Tescos to buy Ben and Jerry a cake but as guinea pigs don't eat cake she brought a pepper instead and a candle that said one. The children sang happy birthday to Ben and Jerry and even played party games 'pin the tail on,wait for it...no its not the guinea pig as I wondered if it might be,just the normal donkey edition! And Ben and Jerry were taken round each class in a special box covered with birthday wrapping paper.
In the days of increasing pressure for school children,tests,SATS,less play,earlier entry into schools I found it so refreshing to see such a fuss made of two tiny animals,to me this is the stuff of childhood,thank you Ben and Jerry for bringing fun and care to our school,no wonder the children love you!