One afternoon I noticed one of the students walking slowly across the back of the classroom and stopping every few steps and stamping his foot. I asked hi what he was doing and he said that Brownie had escaped from the cage and he was trying to catch him. When I asked how stamping on him could be an effective form of capture he stopped for a moment and replied "I was only trying to stamp on his tail". After that we kept a large net in the classroom for catching escaped gerbils.
The other story was told frequently by one of my doctoral advisers at the University of Illinois where I completed my doctoral program.As the story goes, a class of fifth graders had invited a member of the local raptor organization to bring a bird of prey to class for part of a thematic unit. It was a small hawk as far as I remember and the plan was to let it fly around the classroom a couple of times. After a fifteen minute talk about hawks the handler duly released the hawk which flew straight to the classroom aquarium in which was coiled an unsuspecting, and very contented, small garden snake; the class pet. Instantly, the hawk snatched up the snake, flew up into the ceiling rafters and proceeded to devour the hapless snake much to the horror of all the students who were swiftly led from the classroom to avoid being splattered by the blood falling from the hawk's unexpected meal.