Pooh.

Wednesday is the only day of the week where I force myself to perform a few chores before I dive for cover behind my desk and medicate myself against Morningitus with the maximum recommended dosage of coffee. On the other days of the week, it’s as much as I can do to grunt acknowledgement in the direction of all the cheery hellos (I am surrounded by morning people. Oh, and a hundred infants.) before I shut myself in my classroom to ease into consciousness, but on Wednesday I need to set up the media room for Movie Day.

Yes, one day a week of my job involves watching my choice of Disney (etc.) movies in a miniature cinema, and I’m obviously pretty happy with how my life has turned out when I think about little details like this. Unfortunately, this year my classes have their movie time first, which means that it falls to me to set out the chairs and check that the computer hasn’t died yet (it’s that sort of computer), and cue up the movie. Only takes ten minutes, but I much preferred it when Someone Else did it last year, as it’s all a bit too much for me first thing in the morning, when I have the energy of an aged tabby cat.

Which is why I sat down in the media room today to contemplate life for a while before I dared to venture back outside and be mobbed by a gang of 4-year-olds screaming my name. A book on the shelf caught my eye, and I picked it up. The title was: The little mole who knew that it was none of his business. I thought this sounded like a very good story to read to the children who constantly poke around my desk going “What is this? What is this? What is this?” despite my refrain of “This is MY desk. This is MY desk. This is MY desk.”, and who so far have managed to break my Starbucks thermal cup from Kyoto (deep grief), send gibberish text messages to random people on my phone, eat some instant coffee granules, spill a bottle of water all over a pile of worksheets, and shut fingers in a drawer – with much howling.

So anyway, I opened the book and was somewhat surprised to find that the story opened with an unknown animal shitting on the head of a bewildered mole.

This was not the sort of business I’d anticipated, and I must say I was a little disturbed. More so as I proceeded through the book and found that the little mole was going from one animal to the next, inspecting their pooh and comparing it with the turd on his head.

When he eventually found the culprit, thanks to some helpful flies who were able to identify the shit for him, he went to the guilty dog while it was sleeping, and did a reciprocal pooh on his head.

This was not the sort of book available when I was at school, let me tell you. Even Winnie the Pooh never went to the toilet. I am quite shocked, actually, and also a little envious that I didn’t have the idea first. Given how fascinated my students seem to be with pooh-related things (seriously. Is that unique to Korea, or are children in general interested in this subject?!), it seems like a winning idea for a children’s book.

I, however, shall not be reading it to them. There are just some things I prefer not to have illustrated in glorious detail.

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9 thoughts on “Pooh.

  1. Just found your blog a few days ago looking for info on moving to Korea (thin on the ground for middle-aged moms like me, but should I decide to be a mid-20s ESL teacher, I have it made. Your blog is so much fun, though, I’ve added it to my reader.). I’ve raised(well, almost) two kids and been a teacher for 15 years, but I’ve never seen this book. It looks perfect., because, yes,all little kids care deeply about poo. And pretty much any bodily function you can think of. Would you mind sharing title and author?

  2. Hi! Glad you’re enjoying the blog. Well, you have the title of the book – the author is Werner Holzwarth. Honestly, this pooh obsession is news to me, and I don’t recall ever feeling the same way about it! But I mentioned the book to a few of my elementary students this afternoon and they all told me that it was their favourite book when they were in kindergarten. This has been a day of revelations…!

  3. McBouncy says:

    I like that this book has a moral – dont shit on someone unless you want to be shat on?

    Good principal for life ;)

  4. In German it’s called (rough tanslation) ‘The story of the mole who wanted to know who had “been” on his head”. Makes me laugh every time I spot it in a book shop.

    Definitely not just a Korean thing, judging by my little brother…

  5. arlene says:

    Funny! I once went to see a whole play about a poo (in a poo costume) and a flower who were friends despite the poo’s obvious odor issues.

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