The teacher gathered her pupils by the entrance of the church, and quickly did a headcount. Ten seven year olds were staring back at her, awaiting instructions. Susan had to grin as she saw the enthusiastic upturned faces watching her. The others had told her this would be hard, and that she had bitten off more than she could chew by arranging this. They had greatly underestimated the eagerness of children to learn.
“Come inside, children,” she urged, her own voice quivering with excitement. “Let’s go and meet the vicar!” Of course, on a normal day, Susan would not be filled with excitement at that idea. Today was not a normal day, and the enthusiasm of the children was certainly catching.
“A very good morning to you all,” greeted the vicar as he gestured towards them so that they would sit in the pews. “Now, I am told that you have some questions for me.”
Susan looked towards the children, and noted them fidgeting nervously. She realised that this was because they did not want to be the first one to speak. So, she racked her brain for a question that she thought the children would ask.
She heard the engines of the plane flying overhead. “When we are flying in a plane, are we actually in heaven?”
The vicar smiled at the childlike innocence of the question. “We are in heaven all of the time,” he answered. “The reason that we can’t see it is because it is in another existence. All of our loved ones that we have lost our watching us all the time, because they are quite simply next to us.”
“Does that include pets?” A voice piped up from one of the pews.
“It would not be heaven if we could not have our pets.”
From then on the field trip went amazingly well, with the very busy question and answer session. Susan could almost forget that she had started it with a, looking back rather silly, question about aeroplanes.
The field trip was a great success, and she could look forward to organising many more.