Me: So what did you learn in school today?
Daughter: I learned snakes eat mice.
Me: And so they do.
Daughter: I got to see one do it.
Me: Oh….did you watch a movie or something?
Daughter: No, Randy brought his snake for show and tell.
Me: Well, that’s delightful. So what, he brought in a frozen mouse and fed it to his snake?
Daughter: No, the mouse was alive.
My mom (who is covering her mouth in disbelief): Didn’t the mouse try and run away?
Daughter: Well, yes, but the snake was faster.
Daughter: It was just a baby mouse.
My mom: Oh my god.
Daughter: It ate his head last. I think it was still breathing but when just its head was sticking out I think it might have been dead.
OK, so I understand teaching kids about nature and all of that, but I prefer my 5 year old to be exposed to it in semi-sanitized versions like those Disney nature movies, as opposed to the visceral and explicit reality of watching a baby mouse slowly suffocate in front of her eyes. That’s a little too much reality for a Monday morning.
I haven’t quite figured out when or even if the teacher had any advance warning. Maybe I’m more sensitive than most, seeing as how I flat out 100% refused to watch either Tom and Jerry OR the Roadrunner cartoons as a kid because I couldn’t stand seeing the violence.
I get that a snake’s gotta eat, but bringing it in for Show and Tell and turning it into a gladiator event for the 5 year old set seems, well, a little unnecessary to me. I can’t figure out if I’m overreacting or not. My daughter took it in stride and seemed much less traumatized by the event than either myself or my mom, so maybe I’m just being the fuddy duddy here.
What do you think? Would you view a live animal sacrifice in the name of edification as a delightful learning opportunity, or would it have bugged you?