After the costume fiasco that was Bonnie's Greeks assembly, the sewing box was out in a flash when it was Alfie’s turn, the topic being Rainforests. ‘I have a snake head-dress already’ he said, (an animate role! he’s usually foliage) ‘but the head looks all smashed up - like an alien!' (delighted) 'because Tommy pressed reallyreallyreallyhard when he drawed the scales for me' Don't push yourself, Alfie. Well then, could I help him with his lines, the acting? Nothing registered for a while. 'Well,' he said, ' all I have to do is look at the animals and trees....and then lie down.’ Fingers crossed.
Bonnie was seeking attention by stabbing herself with a bread knife, so I asked her how the Greeks were going. ‘They pooed in buckets, and they wrote on papyrus, which is made out of weeds’. ‘It's so easy in the Juniors', whined Josie who had been crying on and off for a day over the ‘C’ she got for her review of Great Expectations, which I thought was a great mark considering she hadn't read it. ‘No-one told us to read the actual book' she said. 'I’m so stressed I need another bath, please have a cup of tea ready for me, Mummy, and this time I need two sugars... ‘and she trailed out of the room with a sigh, glancing in the mirror on the way.
As it turned out, the Rainforests assembly, was a marvel! The scene was set by various creatures of the rainforest wandering about amidst stirring music. No words! The plot relied on actions alone to reveal itself. Deforesters, I think, crashed in with a Bob the Builder chainsaw after a while, and CUT DOWN the very life of the forest – whoosh! Next it was burn, burn, burn (and burn some more as it happens, because the music had quite a considerable coda) until the ground was bare, and the creatures laid low. The bad guys then yawned excessively which was when I could have done with some narration, but my neighbour explained that the yawning symbolised lack of oxygen on account of the deforestation. Lesson learnt!
The assembly was topped off with the usual sing-song, but with the addition of a child conductress - not necessarily a wise move, but I’m sure her sense of achievement outweighed what the music lacked by way of a beat. After a few rounds of ‘One Voice’ (or should I say ‘Many Voices – and not all at the same time!’) my own little snake had more or less fallen sleep over his tambourine, which may be why he hasn't yet had a speaking part. Bravo, children!