English Class Fright

Gary slumped down in his chair. The teacher in his high school English class had decided on an impromptu activity: She would have the students take turns getting up in front of everyone and give a short speech.

Gary hated public speaking. He had intentionally avoided debate class and other such English credit options just so he didn’t have to subject himself to this kind of torture. Maybe he should start an immediate protest. Naw, that might count as public speaking.

One by one, she called students up and gave a simple one word prompt: the name of a farm animal. Students were called row-by-row, so Gary knew when his turn would be, but not what animal he would be assigned.

He was barely able to hear what anyone before him said, except for the shotgun order barked out by the teacher: “Cow!” “Goose!” “Goat!”

When it was his turn, he went up and faced the class.

“Duck!”

So he did, and returned to his seat.

Note: This is based on an actual incident of a friend of mine in high school.

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