Letters to a Sister : 22

So, I was asked if I would consider helping with the Sunday School. Actually, it’s not called Sunday School, it’s called Boulders, but everyone knows what I mean if I give it the old fashioned title. If it happens, it will be hugely exciting. I did help with the group about a year ago, before I was ill. It was tremendous fun, I (and I think the kids) enjoyed it immensely. This might be my second chance.

When we were children, did you enjoy it? Mum and Dad dutifully sent us every week, but I think for me it was a bit too much like school. I did learn though, much of my Bible knowledge today is based on what I learnt as a child in those classes, despite my main aim being to kick off the shoe of the teacher when she crossed her legs. I remember one teacher who I loved because she let us draw stick-men instead of writing the story. We were simple souls.

Of course, if I am the teacher, I can be as imaginative as I want. Last year I taught about the plagues in Egypt, Moses, Pharaoh, God leading his people to the promised land. I was very keen that it shouldn’t be like school, a ‘sit down and write’ lesson. So I made it as real as I could. I felt it was important to source some of the plagues. Husband (somewhat reluctantly, I must say) helped with this.

First was blood – I did wonder about asking cousin the nurse if she could get me some but thought that maybe there would be health risks with using human blood. So we used food colouring and coloured some water red. It was more pink to be honest. Fear the children may now think all Jewish people were anaemic.

Next was frogs. I tried the local ponds but they were very hard to catch. Father-in-law came up trumps. Apparently his pond had too many and he needed to lose some. Gave me a tupperware box full of bouncing amphibians. I put them in the garage in a very big box covered in netting with a ‘pond’ in an empty ice cream container. Was getting excited now.

Flies were easier than you might think – my window sills had a good supply of dead ones that could be put into an envelope. The joys of living on farm land. I decided the smaller ones could double up as gnats.

Locusts were also easily sorted. The local ‘exotic pets’ shop sold them in boxes as food for the lizards and things. They were alive (apparently lizards and things do not like to eat dead things.) We put them into another big crate in the garage. You would be amazed by how much green stuff a locust can eat. We had about twenty of them. Husband then got rather enthusiastic. He ‘decorated’ the crate to make a nice environment for them. Lots of leaves and branches, areas of soil, etc.

The boils were lipstick spots with ‘tumours’ of lumps of cold porridge. The hail was crushed ice cubes. The dead animals were found in my daughter’s long forgotten farm set in the loft. The darkness was a big blanket everyone could hide under.

Death was harder, we had to just act that. Even I felt that using a corpse might be going too far. And be illegal. And damage the children beyond repair.

Anyway, we had a terrific time. We learned about the story, then made a short film, using mobile phones. It would probably win some Oscars if I released it. I will send you a copy.

Afterwards, the frogs went into my pond (still see them occasionally) and the rest of the stuff went back into cupboards.

The locusts were a problem. They had grown huge (we only had them a week) and husband had bonded with them. Super. Son 1 did suggest we could release them into crops next door but that was clearly wrong. Eventually we found someone with a big lizard thing which ate big locusts, so we gave them to him. Think husband was rather sad but we coped.

Am very much hoping it happens. Husband has banned me from teaching about Noah’s Ark. But I think it has potential.

Take care,
Anne x

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