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Gwynnie’s gurus explained the differences between exoskeletons

(Poodle Moths etc) and endoskeletons.

Virginia, the School Secretary was fascinated.  Insects, it appeared, had

their skeletons on the outside.  They would never change; they were

inflexible and at the mercy of their environments.  Was this a metaphor

for Augustus Snodbury?

She read on.  Someone called P.Ouspensky seemed to have said that

insects were Nature’s failed attempt to evolve higher forms of

consciousness.  Virginia could think of one or two males who fitted this

observation.  Was ‘P’ a woman with a hidden agenda?

However, she had to admit that, at least, Snod wasn’t spineless.  Should

the rest of the staff find themselves under the steel-tipped heel of a

stiletto, they’d be ground down.  But not Gus.  Not even if the shapely calf

above the said point of balance was encased in a seamed nylon.

Exoskeletons calcify and tend to rigidity, she read further. (Hmm..that did

sound more like Gus.) But vertebrates

That’s me! she nodded.

..have a skeleton on the inside, lending itself to flexibility and adaptability.The

downside to this is a certain vulnerability and sensitivity to hurt.

Am I hurt? she questioned herself.  Maybe a little.

What was that about scars from the past? Regrets, she’d had a few,

but then again..No, stop!  She’d always hated that song.

The guru went on in a series of metaphors about the need to construct

an inner cathedral and said it was important to surrender one’s attack

modes.  Then one’s nurturing mode could rise to the surface.

Virginia appreciated the cathedral reference, but there was no way..!

Actually, maybe she could feel a tendernesss begin to seep through.

Suddenly she began to experience a warm, maternal glow.

The gossip was that Snod had been placed, well, dumped in St Birinus

Prep Schoolwhen the ink on his birth certificate had scarcely been blotted.

His mother had run off.  Poor little lamb, she whispered aloud.

Perhaps she could make it her life’s work to help him to achieve his

equilibrium and he might emerge from the chrysalis of his past destructive

relationships? That Fotheringay woman who partnered him at The Parent/

Teachers’ Association had looked positively entomological. Dragonfly, she’d

have called her.

According to the Gospel of Goop, if he could slough off his old skin then he

would be enabled to call in someone- herself?– who would reflect his new

world.  If she decided to remain in post, in the school family, and, goodness

knew her receding pension seemed to suggest that it was the only modus

operandi, then she might, in time, be able to persuade Snod to view her as

his teacher, or midwife, in an initiation into the Academy of Love.