David Rabbitborough's A to Z of Australian Species

 

THE TEACHER

Human beings do not start out in the form we commonly observe but pass through several pupal and larval stages. They begin life as creatures called Children - creatures which, after a while, wind themselves up in a sort of cocoon called Adolescence. From this cocoon - usually - an adult human eventually emerges.

Children are too destructive to the herd to be allowed to roam free and so are imprisoned in colonies called schools. Here the pupal humans, or just pupals as they are called, they are under the control of a special breed of person called the Teacher. At first glance one would not think that teachers were humans at all, for they are scruffy, bedraggled looking creatures that dress for comfort rather than style. They live almost entirely on biscuits, tea and coffee which exacerbates their highly-strung condition.

There are two main breeds of teacher: the older breed, Magister Terriblis, a fearsome carnivore which stalks slowly around the herd of youngsters, capable of paralysing them with its cold hard stare, which is slowly dying out, and the newer breed which replacing it: Tutor Sympathaticus. This latter species, which tends to be herbivorous - that is, vegetarian - mingles freely with the young people and seems to propose no threat to them, in fact appears quite friendly. Sympatheticus however is not as harmless as it looks, for it still has power to bore students to death about social responsibility and the environment, if given the chance.

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