I have a friend named Zooey. Here's a picture of him, partaking in a vice. . . usually he's not that bad. Really. Upstanding, even. (And let's give him a break: Leffe is a really good quality beer.)
Even though he sometimes drinks beer (he swears it was only that once), he also really likes to come to school with me and meet my students. He lives an adventurous life: adventurous enough that he often appears in the stories I tell to my students. He's a bit of a rennaisance elephant: he speaks tiger, bear, octopus, English, Korean, and a handful of other useful languages (not to mention African elephant, as well as Indian elephant).
When Sally the genius' family was struck by a tragedy that shall go unmentioned, I introduced Sally to Rhonda, the only other known mini-elephant. Here's Rhonda. (Un?)surpringly, Zooey and Rhonda hit it off when they met, and have been courting in the traditional mammothian way. Rhonda's even helping Zooey with his addiction to peanut butter.
My students love Zooey, and love to hear stories about Zooey. One day, after visiting Sally, I accidentally left Zooey at her house, and Zooey and Rhonda spent that whole week together. After that, Sally asked if Rhonda wanted to come to my house for a few days. I agreed, so that Rhonda could meet my students. My students loved her, and wanted to hear all about Zooey and Rhonda.
Then, two months after her appearance at SLP, on Valentine's day, Arooh made valentines for all her classmates, including me, and even one for Zooey. However, she couldn't remember Rhonda's English name, so she had to write her Elephant name.
Here is the card she wrote for Zooey and Rhonda.
It made me smile a lot.
I will be teaching adults next month: my contract with SLP is up, and I just couldn't imagine another year of teaching little kids, and mediating conflicts like "Kevin hit me." "James hit me first." "No, Zach pushing me so I hit you accident." However, I'll miss the sweetness of Arooh trying to sound out an elephant's trumpet.