Two donkeys and a mule on my birthday

It has been a good week.  I have been very touched by my form – the little bunch of tearaways in school for whom I have responsibility as form tutor – who had been misbehaving recently, so I came down hard on them and felt guilty about it for most of the last fortnight.  I was not smiling at them any more and they were looking worried and distressed.  The bad behaving minority – now on report – suddenly starting being very good.  The form as a whole began to get great reports from teachers.  By the middle of the week it was looking like a good news story, and then it was my birthday on Thursday and they all sang “Happy Birthday, Mr Gareth, at form time…”  How can you carry on being hard on twelve year olds when they smile and sing to you?

The first two donkeys arrived in the donkey meadow on my birthday: two vintage hand-tinted 1928 Winnie the Pooh prints of Eyore the donkey and Pooh Bear.  What a lovely present!  They came just in time for my birthday, from Alys my daughter, who seems to be enthusing over the donkey plans.

Later in the day the Mule arrived.  I had not been expecting a Mule and it was an amusing moment when the office in school told me that a package had been delivered.  “Ah, it must be my donkey books,” I said.  “Is the package from Amazon?”

“Yes,” they told me, “but it says ‘Mule’ on the box and it is very big…”



The ‘Mule’ turned out to be the velocipede trailer I had ordered through and not donkey books as expected.  I took the box into my classroom.  The children read ‘Mule’ on the box.  One boy asked, “Is that your donkey, Mr Gareth?”

The kids have me completely sussed now.  A stickler for spellings, grammatical structures, proper school uniform and a complete nutcase obsessed with donkeys.  Prolly about right.  But as long as they keep on getting good reports, who cares what they think?


About Gareth Thomas

After a mixed career as an aircraft technician, London fringe theatre playwright, Franciscan friar, and secondary school teacher, I find myself dividing my time mostly between looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca and preparing a legal case against the corrupt management of my monstrous last employer - the Elians group - for unfair dismissal. I like to hear the wind in the pine trees. I do not like struggling to get a duvet into a duvet cover. My musical tastes are extinct and I have mostly given up cycle racing.
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One Response to Two donkeys and a mule on my birthday

  1. Karin says:

    Happy Belated Birthday!! Lovely gifts! Karin

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