Friday, November 11, 2005

Chain gang walking

I saw what had to be a preschool class out for a walk the other day. Approximately six children were in this sort of horizontal ladder made entirely of canvas strapping, with one child in between each set of rungs, and a guard - I mean a teacher - at each end.

It looked incredibly difficult for the children to walk, having to coordinate their gait with their classmates'. Most every child was looking down at his or her feet, and I saw several stumble. The adults didn't seem to be able to enjoy it either; they were kept busy chastising and reminding to "keep up with the group".

My preschool class used to take walks. We held hands.

A group of animals, prisoners, or slaves chained together in a line.
To fasten together in a coffle.
[Arabic qāfila, caravan, feminine active participle of qafala, to close, return.]
"coffle." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 11 Nov. 2005.