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The Goat Ate My Homework

May 12, 2023 12:00PM ● By Uju Nwagu

Snickers and whispers of "The Goat" greeted me in the hallway as we moved out for break time. Some people weren't so discreet and laughed out loudly. My hopes for high school were to keep my head down, lead a quiet life, and graduate without any school drama attached to my name. I had barely reached the mid-terms of my first year, and I already had a nickname that was gaining popularity.

Last week, during our Fine Arts class, we were assigned to make a 3D paper craft due in a week. I was excited about this homework and decided to design a hospital building. Since I had a lot to do in a short time, I set to work immediately. 

My elder brother has been on a roll, dishing out pranks and mischief at every chance. Yesterday, he intentionally spilled soda on my finished craft, feigning innocence to my mom. We both knew he was lying but couldn't do anything about it. Annoyed, my mom took my artwork out in the sun to dry while I fumed in the living room. 

Some minutes later, a shriek from my mom had me running outside. "Oh my God, oh my God, who left this gate open?" I saw a goat running around the compound, trying to escape; I still didn't understand why my mom was making a big deal of it until my eyes landed on my art project; some parts had been chewed off. "Did a goat just eat my homework? Do goats eat paper?" I asked shockingly. Hot, burning tears filled my eyes as I touched my craft with goat teeth marks around it. My assignment was due the next day, and I could do nothing to salvage the situation.

Goat Eating Paper - Meg Stewart - Flickr

I spent the remainder of the day feeling sorry for myself. My mom encouraged me to be honest about my misfortune when I submitted my assignment, but nothing she said comforted me. It was the embarrassment that I was going to face in school that frightened me the most.

Upon arriving at school today, I considered passing up the chance to submit my wrecked artwork. Still, when my teacher threatened that the assignment was worth thirty marks, I knew I had no choice. I walked sluggishly to his desk, keeping my head down. Those were the slowest 10 seconds of my life. As I dropped the art on his table, I blurted out, "I'm sorry, sir, the goat ate my homework." "Wait, what? Did I hear you correctly? Did you say the goat ate your homework?" The whole class was in an uproar. My teacher quieted everyone and teased, "Usually, the dogs eat the homework, but we have a new addition to the family." The rest of the class passed in a blur while I thought about my awkward situation and evil brother. "Maybe, I should have been an only child."

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 Uju Nwagu is a social media manager and content creator at FunTimes Magazine. She is also in charge of creating comics along with producing videos and other materials used for content marketing. Uju currently resides in Lagos, Nigeria. She has a Master's degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Ibadan. Her passion is music. She is a faithful chorister, belonging to a few choral groups (her alumni group inclusive).You can connect with her on Instagram @juby_lindas.

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