And one day, it was an afternoon, when Caretaker polecat was sitting outside her den scratching her head, nearly flaying herself, because she had heard that some of the pupils at her school had started keeping bad company.
She had even argued with the teachers, in particular with Cretin Crocodile, the Headmaster. They couldn’t muster any real enthusiasm in the students for the school, which was just made up of rule upon rule.
And that morning during break, she had gathered all the pupils in the long corridor and started giving them a good lecture from the top of a broken tree trunk. But someone had claimed that what she was doing didn’t mean anything, because of this and this and that and that…
Caretaker Polecat was thinking over what she had said that morning, and what else she could have said, while she scolded herself by pinching her tail with her paws, because maybe her speech hadn’t been that convincing and…she suddenly got up and cried out: “I need seven lice! An example is what’s needed! An example gives you more than an explanation based on theory after theory and rule upon rule. Very well, but…but where am I going to find seven lice?”
Quack Quack Goose was passing by.
“Quack Quack Goose! Quack Quack Goose! Come here, come here. You couldn’t tell me where I might find seven lice, could you?”
“Seven lice? Seven lice? And what do you need seven lice for? An omelette?”
Caretaker Polecat barely moved her head, so it looked as if she was saying yes.
” Oh gosh! Caretaker Polecat really is going to make an omelette with seven lice! Anyway, listen, Beggar Cat lives over there on the other side of the pond, and she can give you as many lice as you want.”
Caretaker Polecat raced over to Beggar Cat’s, who on hearing her request exclaimed: “What? Seven lice? Only seven? But I can really give you heaps!”
“Seven, I only need seven; what do you think, that I really want to make an omelette with them? I only need seven, you are quite welcome to the rest! What do you think? That I’ve come here to delouse you? You don’t fool me! With the state you are in, it would take a month or more to delouse you properly: you have more lice on you than fur my lousy one!”
Caretaker Polecat chose seven nice fat lice, wrapped them up well in a leaf and bid Beggar Cat good bye.
Early the following morning, Caretaker Polecat took herself off to school, where she gathered all the pupils together in the long corridor again. The experiment was under way…
With her paws she threw three little heaps of flour onto a wide tree trunk, just like the farmer does when he is sowing seeds. She then managed to make the first louse walk right through the flour, from one side to the other. “What do you think has happened to the louse?” the polecat asked the pupils. “It has got dirty!” they all shouted back.
“The second one is less dirty”
“Look at how much flour the other one has brought with it! Maybe it wants to bake bread for its family!”
“Oh heavens! Look at that other one there!”
And so all the lice were covered with flour, some more, some less and some completely.
So Caretaker Polecat got up on the tree trunk and mumbled: “Did you all see that, you little idiots? There was not one louse that walked through the flour without getting floury. None of them got away with it. And the same goes for you when you keep
bad company! You talk and talk and claim and think and believe…but what are you saying? What are you doing? You, you…some more and some less, but you all end up floury. You’ll all get into trouble doing what you do…some more and some less, but you’ll all be in trouble…”
But suddenly in charged Headmaster Cretin Crocodile, thundering his hand-bell and bawling out rule upon rule. He ordered every one into the classrooms in the big den, and to get on with the lessons based on rules upon rules with lots of other rules, in that school ruled by rules…