Once upon a time the animals decided to do something decisive to meet the increasing complexity of their society. They held a meeting and finally decided to organise a school.
The curriculum consisted of running, climbing, swimming and flying. Since these were the basic behaviours of most animals, they decided that all the students should take all the subjects.
The duck was excellent at swimming, better in fact, than his teacher. He also did well in flying. But he was very poor in running and he was made to stay after school to practice. He had to drop swimming in order to get more time in which to practice running. This continued till his webbed feet were so badly damaged that he became only average at swimming· But average was an acceptable grade in the school, so nobody worried about that except the duck. The rabbit started at the top of her class in running, but finally had a nervous breakdown because of so much time spent in practicing swimming. The squirrel was excellent at climbing until he developed a psychological block in flying class, when the teacher insisted he start from the ground instead of from the tops of trees. He was forced to practice flying until he became muscle-bound and received a ‘C’ in climbing and a ‘D’ in running.
The eagle was the school’s worst discipline problem; in climbing class, she beat all of the others to the top of the tree but she insisted on using her own method to get there. The gophers, of course, stayed out of school and fought the tax levied for education because digging was not included in the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to the badger and later joined the groundhogs, and eventually started a private school offering alternative education.