“No, no. Everything’s fine. Gather the girls together and start down the hill. The next viewpoint is marked on your briefing sheet, and there are signposts everywhere.”
“You not coming with us, Sir?”
“I’ll be right along. There’s something I need to do first.”
“Something I or one of the girls can help you with?”
“I hardly think so.”
“But nothing. Just do as I ask, will you? You are supposed to be the girls’ teacher; they and their safety and well-being are your responsibility. It’s not your job to look after me. Now go!”
“Alright. Girls! Follow me,” the teacher said, marching down the pathway in his most authoritative manner.
“Thank goodness he’s gone,” the headmaster said. Turning to a park employee, he shouted, “You! Yes, you with the white headgear.”
“Problem?” the employee replied.
“Do I have a problem? No, I do not. Do you have a problem? Yes, you most certainly do.”
“I do, Sir?”
“Yes, you do.”
“What is it, Sir?”
“Are you responsible for that goat?”
The park employee saw his chance to assert his inconsiderable authority; an opportunity that doesn’t present itself anything like as often as they promised him when they convinced him to take the job, even at such a low rate of pay. “Sir,” he responded, “Firstly, that is not just a goat. That is a Nilgiri Tahr. It is a wild creature, listed as endangered. Am I responsible for it? I do share responsibility for ensuring its safety and security, and I will happily and immediately relocate anyone who is threatening its well-being. Are you threatening its well-being, Sir?”
“No, I am not. But I do believe it is negatively affecting mine.”
“Not my problem, Sir.”
“If it’s not your problem, then whose is it?”
“From the way you are standing, Sir, I would think it’s yours.”
“Aren’t you supposed to control it, to keep the public safe?”
“No Sir. I am supposed to control the public to keep the animal safe.”
“This is intolerable. Where is your manager?”
“In the big building over there, Sir,” he said, pointing further up the hill.
“Right. That’s it,” the headmaster said, “I’ve had enough. I’m taking this up with your manager.”
As he started to storm up the slope, the park employee followed him and called out, “Before you go, Sir…”
“Would you like me to remove the Tahr faeces from the seat of your trousers?”
I wrote this in response to Kreative Kue 146, issued on this site earlier this week. Feel free to join in; just follow the link.