ADVICE TO TEACHERS
There are certain things which you cannot discuss
in front of a class of sixth graders. The sperm whale
garners a giggle, whether it is navigating the open
ocean far from the land of the platypus and wombat,
or near icebergs where fairy penguins reside.
Never preface the ornithology section of the book
with, “Class, I would like to give you the bird.”
And do not introduce the spotted redshank on the same
day as the woodcock. Woodpeckers can be touch and go,
particularly the hairy or the red-cockaded. The eastern
wood peewee and the buff-breasted sandpiper will draw
sniggers from the males in the back of the room. Brown
boobies will bring a flush to every female cheek. Chaos
comes when the tufted titmouse is mentioned, especially
if one can be found perched in a pussy willow. Steer clear
of beavers, if possible, and stag beetles completely. Horny
toads are thorny issues, jackasses no easier than the Asiatic
wild ass or the dik-dik. Even chickens can be taboo when
the cocks are Jersey Giants or Rhode Island Reds. Above
all, try to make no reference to anything regarding Uranus.
Steve Meador’s book Throwing Percy from the Cherry Tree won the D-N Publishing 2008 National Book Competition and was released in April. It has been nominated for several awards, including a National Book Award, for poetry. He has appeared Umbrella, MIPOesias, Word Riot, Foliate Oak, Avatar Review & many others and he also has two chapbooks by Pudding House Publications. “Percy” is available from amazon.com and www.d-npublishing.com. A real estate broker, he lives in Florida with his wife and three sons.