The story takes place at a school. The mood is somber and depressing.
The children begin to ask questions that Edgar does not know the answer to. They ask about the meaning of life and if death has some sort of meaning to life. Edgar answers their questions by saying that life is the meaning of life.
The children wants Edgar to make love to their teacher assitant, Helen, so they can see an example of life and an assertion of value.
The new gerbil walked in, and the children were excited.