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The Elements of Freedom





Kellen propped a foot on the arm of a dark green chair and glanced at his teenaged students, seated in various levels of discomfort on the sofas, chairs and ottomans. He loved the first day of class, and the first day of this one in particular. The teacher pointed to a sturdily-built gray Hinichi wolfine: mostly human, with a fine covering of wolf.

"You, my friend. What's your name?"

"Uh, Derrick, sir. Derrick Lombard."

"Very good," Kellen said, "Tell me what class this is?"

Bewildered, the wolfine's eyes sought the others', hoping for support. "Err, it's 'Ethical Perspectives on History’, sir."

Kellen grinned. "Ah! Thank you, Derrick. That's just what I wanted to hear." An uneasy chuckle rose from the others watching, and he folded his arms across his chest. "As you might have guessed, I'm new here. My name is Kellen Grove. I ask that you call me 'Mr. Grove' so we can at least pretend you respect me, but otherwise my rules are as informal as my classroom. I like a lively discussion, so make free with your comments, particularly your jokes. I expect you to answer my questions; in return, I'll answer yours, no matter how hard. Make no mistake: there will be hard questions. This will be far and away the most difficult and interesting elective being offered during your last year of high school, and I'm gratified that you have all chosen to take it."

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