Monday, July 15, 2024

Feeding Our Town’s Future


By Orna Rawls

My father used to tell me a story about a farmer named Harry who had a horse named Gus.

Gus was healthy and strong and did all the difficult work without complaint. All was well until one day Harry thought that feeding Gus had become too expensive and decided to cut the budget for Gus’s feed.

A week into the experiment Harry appeared at the weekly farmer’s market.

“I cut his feed by a quarter,” he proudly announced. “And Gus is as good as ever. Working his butt off.”

Another week passed, and again Harry came to the market grinning from ear to ear. He happily reported that he had cut Gus’s feed in half, and the horse was still hail and hardy and working his butt off. Again a week later, Harry victoriously announced to the market that he had cut Gus’s food budget by 75%, and Gus was still as good as ever.

But then, on the fourth week, Harry appeared at the market with a long and defeated face.

Just as he learned to live without food,” he told the gathering crowd, Gus died.

Our children are not horses. But if, like Harry, we keep cutting the feed for their education – taking away their librarians, substitute teachers, special programs for special kids, and more – how will our town ever be the kind of place that families want to raise their children in?



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