There’s a lot of rapeseed around at the moment; I love the yellow fields, green hedges and blue sky. It means spring, warmer days and lighter evenings.
I was given the task of teaching poisonous plants to a group of boys – seven to ten years in age. We had a series of pictures and had to identify the plants.
When we reached the image of a ragwort plant, and I explained what it is and what it looks like.
One of the boys pipes up “but they grow lots round here. The field opposite my house has yellow flowers in it.”
“Ah okay, the plant you’re thinking of, in the fields, is actually rapeseed. Farmers grow it for food.” I reply, totally clueless about the true purpose of rapeseed, but I pressed on regardless.
Then at the end of the session, when the parents were congregating to take their precious moppets home, I did a quick quiz with the boys. I’d show them a picture of a plant and they had to tell me what it was called and if it was poisonous.
I showed them the picture of the ragwort plant, and one boy’s hand shot in the air.
“RAPE!” He yelled at the top of his voice. “It’s rape!” Just loud enough to turn the heads of every parent there…
I almost died of embarrassment! My two teenage helpers were in hysterics, and the parents must have wondered what on earth I was teaching the boys!