51. A Fertile Mind
© Bruce Goodman 30 November 2013
Keith kept chickens. He was nine years old. The roosters kept jumping on top of the hens and hurting them. Keith was very busy chasing them off.
“Why do we need roosters anyway?” Keith asked his father. “They don’t lay any eggs.”
So Keith’s father explained why roosters were required. He used words such as fertilise and inject.
The next day at school, each member of the class had to research a topic on the internet. Keith’s topic was Salmon. The article said that the salmon went upstream, and the males fertilised the females’ eggs.
Now Keith knew what the word fertilise meant because he kept chickens and his father had told him. As far as he knew, no one else in the class kept chickens. Keith proudly went up to the teacher’s desk and, in a voice loud enough to be heard by all, said: “Excuse me, sir, but what does the word fertilise mean?”
The room went deathly quiet. The teacher leaned back on his chair and said, “Um”. (Silly teacher! He probably didn’t keep chickens either).
“I know!” Keith cried. ”My father told me! Fertilise means to inject!”
Never had such a hubbub occured in a class as on that day. The dumb spoke and the tone deaf sang! And in the playground they whispered, pointing to Keith: “That’s the one! That’s the boy who used the word fertilise in class!”