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In Chapter 6 of Elijah Of Buxton, Elijah tells us that Mr. Travis often mixes up everyday classroom lessons with Sunday School lessons. He finds this habit of Mr. Travis confusing, and wishes Mr. Travis knew that experiencing something makes for a better learning experience than wholesale classroom teaching.
When Elijah gets to school Monday morning, he is greeted by an excited Cooter Bixby, who tells Elijah that Mr. Travis is getting ready to teach them something significant that day. Cooter is so riled up that Elijah thinks the impending lesson must be very special indeed. When Cooter tells Elijah to take a peek at what Mr. Travis has written on the blackboard, Elijah does so and is shocked when he sees the words 'Familiarity Breeds Contempt' on the blackboard. Cooter goes on to decode the meaning for Elijah with hilarious results. He tells Elijah that the word Breeds refers to breeding or intercourse- after all, he reasons that Elijah works in the stables and should know what 'breeding' is. He then goes on to say that the word Familiarity must refer to family. Plus, since the word Contempt sounds like it could be connected to the word Contest, the saying should roughly translate to 'Family Breeding Contest.'
It is with utmost shock and chagrin when both children realize later on that the words written by Mr. Travis hold no such meaning.
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