Homework Excuse

By way of background.
– – So everything’s okay now?
– – Now, yes… But it was bad for a while, Mother.
– – Carl’s okay?
– – Both Carl and Kim were upset… You know Kim liked that crab, too.
– – And the dog, Cheryl?
– – It was nothing for Sam… He’s never been better… He just eats and sleeps. It’s as though nothing happened for him.
– – And you say Charlie took care of things?
– – Sorry… You broke up a little on the phone…
– – I said, Charlie handled it?
– – Right, Charlie wrote the note…

School project.
– – And it all started with a crab?
– – A fiddler crab, Mother… Have you ever seen one?
– – I hope not in the house.
– – Well… They grew some in Carl’s class… Then Carl and some of the others took them home to raise them… It was their assignment.
– – Homework, huh?
– – That’s a way of putting it… So we had to get a tank, and sand, and a bowl, and some ornaments…
– – For a crab?
– – They’re called fiddler crabs… They’re small… You can keep them in a tank with sand, and salted water, and whatever those little things eat.
– – In my day we didn’t do that at school, Cheryl.
– – Nowadays, mother, with the pandemic and all, school and home get mixed together… Anyway, Carl, and Kim too, liked Crabbie… Even though it was Carl’s, Kim named him.
– – It was a him?
– – Who knows?… It was a little crab…

Project complete.
– – How long did you have the thing, Cheryl? Was it more than a week?
– – I guess… Anyway, the kids must’ve put the tank on the floor.
– – When?
– – That’s where I found the tank when I came down in the morning… But, no Crabbie… And Sam had that look about him.
– – Is it okay for dogs to eat crabs?
– – If Sam can eat socks and dishwasher pods, I don’t think little Crabbie is going to bother him.

By way of explanation.
– – And Charlie?
– – Mother, I didn’t suspect Charlie… I know how you feel about him sometimes.
– – No… I meant, what did Charlie do?
– – Well… He wrote the letter to the teacher… He said he’d always wanted to write a letter like that.
– – How do you mean?
– – He was good with the kids, too… And with Sam… After the kids weren’t so upset, he wrote a letter for Carl to bring in.
– – He was glad to do it?
– – Of course… He said that considering how kids are, and considering how dogs are, and considering fiddler crabs, it’s to be expected that a dog eats the homework…

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