Ben’s detention was for lying to a teacher, but he claims he was innocent of the offense. After all, the teacher insisted he had a lizard in his jacket pocket, but according to Ben, it was in his backpack. This is not a child who plays with semantics but rather one who sees the world in black and white, and there was not a lizard in his jacket pocket.
An example of his black and white world? “It’s not fair! They said I can’t have any animals at school, but Alannie has a hamster!” The fact that Alannie’s hamster is safely ensconced in a cage is irrelevant in his mind.
Ben had to leave the classroom to go to speech and he figured his newfound friend would be safer inside the small pocket of his backpack. When he went to leave, however, he feared it would not have enough air so he unzipped the pocket. “Just a little bit” he signed to me, but then gestured a few inches between his thumb and forefinger. Needless to say, a few inches was more than adequate for the lizard to make his escape.
When he returned from speech and found the lizard gone, in his mind he wasn’t lying. He had no lizard. The classroom did. Too bad this didn’t happen during science. I think a lizard in the science classroom would have been a nice contribution.