Thursday, 17 November 2011

me first - or after you?

The other day we read the story ‘Me First’ by Helen Lester.  Pinkerton Pig…..


always wanted to be first.  The problem, as Melchior told us, was that ‘his friends got squashed’ as Pinkerton Pig forced and raced his way to the front of every queue.  ‘Me first, me first, ME FIRST!’ his cry.

He was first down the slide, first in the lunch line…..


and as Youssef remembered, ‘first (to) go on the bus’.

And as Luna quite rightly pointed out, ‘That’s not fair.’

Of course in the end he got his comeuppance; it was on a day-trip to the beach…..


that it happened.

After he had barged everyone out of the way in his race to get out of the bus, he heard a faint cry; ‘Who would care for a sandwich?’

Well you can imagine the rush, can’t you!  Off he lumbered, slavering and drooling at the mouth, knocking over his friends as he went, and looking forward to the most enormous and tasty sandwich.  As he got nearer, so the cry got louder; ‘Who would care for a sandwich?

‘Me first, me first, ME FIRST!’ he shouted.

So - imagine his horror when he reaches the source of the question…..


a green sand witch - who needs caring for!  Poor Pinkerton; you can’t help feeling just a little bit sorry for him!  The green sand witch took him to her sand-castle where she made him polish her nose and comb her hairy toes – as well as wash all her dishes…..


and feed her from a BUCKET with a trowel…..


of all things!

What Pinkerton Pig learned from the experience is left somewhat to our imagination, but we used this cautionary tale to think about our own wish to be the first.  And when, a little while later, I asked the question, ‘Who in Class 1b likes to be first?’ I was confronted with a veritable forest of waving arms; ‘Me first, me first, ME FIRST!’ the cheeky chorus.


(OK so the photo is more spinney than forest, but you get the idea; that we ALL like to be first – well apart from Emily, who told me, arms firmly folded, ‘I like being second!’)

But of course we can’t all be first all of the time, can we?  That wouldn’t be fair!  And even though I quite like Lakeisha’s suggestion, that perhaps the teacher should always be first, I can see that that isn’t fair either!

So Anusha suggests, ‘maybe we can take turns.’  As we hope that Pinkerton Pig now does – perhaps, as Yanis observes, Pinkerton Pig ‘can be in the middle or at the back sometimes’. 

‘Or at the front,’ adds Melchior, wanting it to be scrupulously fair!  And he too thinks that we could work towards that ourselves.   ‘Maybe’, he says, ‘if everyone wants to do something we can make a list.’

Bianca clarifies.  ‘Everyday someone gets a turn and the next day another person.’

‘The one that is 1st can go 2nd the next time.’  This from Mélina.

Well, I for one am happy to give it a go.  After all, if, as seems to happen now, the same few people always get to the front of the line first, conflicts arise.  Coming up with a solution together, that is seen by all concerned to be fair, should go a long way towards a peaceful outcome.  And I am all for that!

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