On the last school day before the Christmas holidays, Gary accompanied Ludwig to see the kids. At first, the goat stood in a corner of the room while the little monsters sat in their chairs, everyone talking over each other and clamouring for Ludwig’s attention to show him the Christmas decorations they had made. Because they didn’t know of the deal he had made with their teacher, they made him promise that he would take each kid once around the farm on his tractor.
Then the dreaded biology lesson came. When Miss Madeleine told the kids to get up slowly and carefully approach the wild animal. Gary dreaded the worst. He turned out to be right. Ten first graders jumped up from their chairs and ran at him as a single mass of bodies. The goat tensed up, afraid of what they would do to him, scared they would prod and, oh no, he realised, there it goes.
The stress was too much, and Gary passed out on the classroom floor. That was all the kids needed to spiral into a panic. Ludwig tried to convince them that they hadn’t killed Gary and he would wake up any second now, but the goat thought it best to stay tense and keep his eyes shut.
“I’m so sorry, I should’ve told you,” said Ludwig after the class, as Madeleine helped him carry all the boxes full of craftwork to the car.
“It’s fine, at least they had an exciting day before the holidays,” she smiled, gave him a quick peck on the cheek and turned to leave.
“See you at the party!” he called after her, but Madeleine had already closed the school door behind her.