On human sacrifice.

<I pause after discussing the Scylla with my students, midway through Book 12 of The Odyssey.>
“Okay, so let’s move on-“
“Wait, Miss, I have an important question before we keep reading.”
“If you were captain of the ship, and you had to pick six people in this class to sacrifice to the dog-to-pus (yes, that was my word for the monster), who would you feed it?”
<Students yell out their assumptions while I smile calmly.>
“When you’re quiet, I’ll answer the question.”
<Immediate silence.>
“Well, first of all, let’s just point out that Odysseus doesn’t get to pick which of his crew die. But assuming that he could, let me also remind you that we need to make sure to move quickly though the passageway, so I shouldn’t let it eat any of the more athletic kiddos, no matter my personal feelings on them. In addition, I wouldn’t pick any of the smallest students, because it would be able to swallow them whole and snatch another one up faster. So I need to pick medium-build, weaker ones, but obviously not my favorites, because, you know – I’m still a person.”
“You’ve thought about this. You know already, don’t you?”
<shrugging> “I’m not going to tell you, either way. Can we keep reading?”
“Yep. Go on. Human sacrifice isn’t as fun in real life as it is in the book. Let’s kill some make-believe guys.”


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