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Seriously, Mrs. Kensington?

by Jan Ackerson  
8/09/2011 / Short Stories

Ninth Grade Speech Class

Impromptu Speech Assignment: Draw a topic from the basket. You have one minute to decide how you'll approach your topic. Your speech should be approximately 3-5 minutes long.


Okay, so my topic is Africa. No wait, we're not supposed to start like that, are we? Mrs. Kensington, do we have to do a real introduction? Oh, crud, hang on then.

Ummmm, have you ever seen "The Lion King"? It's about all these African animals, right, but my Lit. teacher says it's totally ripped off from Shakespeare. That really mean lion? Scar? He's just like Hamlet's uncle who killed his father, and the cute little lion is Hamlet, only he doesn't die in the end. Well, Hamlet does, not Simba.

But what gets me about "The Lion King"and I've seen it like a billion times, because I babysit for this really cute kid, his name is Seth and he likes to watch it, only he calls it the wy-on king because he can't even say his Ls yet. And he calls me Wiwwy because he can't say Lilly. I know, cute, right?

Oh crud, I'm off-topic. Sorry, Mrs. Kensington, this is hard.

So anyway, all these animals are singing about the circle of life and it always cracks me up because seriously? If those animals knew what they were really singing about, I do not think that zebra would be so happy to be singing right next to a lion. Because guess what, zebra? When all the singing is done, that lion is totally going to eat you. So I'm thinking that once the last chorus starts, you'd better scoot your striped booty back into the jungle.

Oh wait, except Africa's not all jungle like I used to think. Oh! I know what I can say now, and it's real facts, Mrs. Kensington. Not Disney stuff.

My dad? He likes to watch these nature shows, like on Animal Planet? I know, it's totally dorky. Anyway, when I was a kid, I used to watch them with him. And I remember how I used to cry when a baby antelope would get grabbed by a crocodile because it wandered away and got too close to the river. Or when the hyenas were ripping into a dead baby elephant.

I know, it's so gross, right? But here's the dealcrocodiles and hyenas gotta eat, and they have to feed their babies, too. I mean, I know crocodiles don't nurse their babies, because they're not mammals. Ooh! I remember something from Mr. Price's Bio class. I'm pretty sure they're amphibians. And if they didn't eat, they'd all get extinct. And hyenas have to feed the hyena babies, which are kinda cute even if the grown up ones are ugly and they don't even really laugh so why do they call them laughing hyenas?

How much more time, Mrs. Kensington? Really? Are you kidding me?


So, those nature showsyou know how I said I used to cry? Well, I don't cry any more, because mostly I don't watch them because I watch American Idol and Top Model, but a few months ago I was grounded for something that was totally not my fault, you can ask Jessica. I couldn't use my cell or my computer or anything, I was practically Amish. But my dad let me watch TV with him. And we were watching one of those Africa showsagainand I started thinking how we always root for the cuter animals. No one ever cares if a warthog dies, but the giraffes and the gazelles all make you go awwww.

Ooh! Mrs. Kensington, can I make up a conclusion that's not really about Africa? Because I just thought of a good one.

Okay, here goes. So in conclusion. Africa is a place that is really far away and most of us will never go there. But next time you see a bunch of cheerleaders or preps going down the hall, think about how they're like a herd of gazelles, all skinny and pretty. And the jocks are like the lions, because they totally think they're the kings of this place. And um, the goths are kinda like the animals no one roots for. Oh rats, Mrs. Kensington, this isn't working, it sounds like I'm saying the goths should eat the cheerleaders. Justummmmm.okay, I've got it now.

In conclusion, be careful who you root for. Even hyenas need love. The End.

How many minutes was that, Mrs. Kensington?

Jan is a Christian who has traveled through sorrow and depression, and has found victory and grace. She dedicates all writings to her Heavenly Father. Check out Jan's website at
Copywrite Jan Ackerson--2006

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