Every classroom should have a giant clam shell, if only to see it wheeled in with great ceremony, wrapped in a thick horse blanket and roped to a heavy duty sack trolley, by a red-faced and perspiring entomologist.
No, they did not believe me when I said it was a man-eater. My smirk always gives me away. They were quite impressed with the idea that it could well have been a century old when it was removed from the southern Indian or Pacific Ocean. And even more surprised to discover that it had been dug up in a garden in East Dulwich. The small hole drilled in the centre suggests it was once a water feature of some kind, but whether in a Victorian garden hereabouts or as a baptismal fount in a church remains to be determined.
My thanks to David and Pia Randall-Goddard for letting me drag it away from their house. No children or bugmen were harmed in the display of this fine object, but the final word in the Giant Clam Wordsearch to accompany it was the sound I made when I picked it up — Ooof.
Wow! I wish I had that experience at school.