First, a backstory:
When we had been in this house a few months, a stray showed up at our friend's house. It was a nice dog, got along with her kids, but they had a dog and weren't wanting another. We ust happened to be looking for another dog to keep our current dog company. She was a great dog. Never touched the chickens, came when I called, was great with the kids. We thought she was fixed, but two years ago she ended up giving birth to 9 puppies.
We found homes for seven of them. Then one day, Brownie jumped the electric fence and killed our neighbor's two goats. It was horrifying for both families. In the end we put Brownie to sleep, kept one of the puppies, and adopted out the other.
A full two years later, the nine year old has an assignment in school to write a story about a bittersweet experience, and the kids were to use a thesaurus to come up with more interesting words. It was done in school, so I had no idea what he wrote until it came home graded in his folder. He chose to write about our dog having puppies, but then having to be put down. His opening sentence made me laugh so hard, I forgot what a horrible story it was. Keep in mind that he had no idea that the words he chose had a different meaning. He began:
"I was melencholy when the vet killed my bitch."
The only comment the teacher made was, "Use paragraph form next time." That sent me into another round of hysterics.
At pick-up the following week, the assistant principal came up to my car. She informed me that she had met with the fourth grade teachers, and they discussed our family. I immediately cringed, of course. Apparantly, the teacher was completely perplexed as to how to handle the situation. Should she talk to my child about it? The assistant principal's take was, "Well, they live on a farm. Maybe the word is used correctly at their house." I couldn't help myself. I actually laughed while she stood there.
Yes, my family has started using many new words since moving out to the farm. That is not one of them.
Now it is has become the funny story all teachers and parents tell. Oh, and we did have to tell the nine year old what was so funny. We're all more careful when someone pulls the thesaurus off the shelf these days.