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As our story begins, six children meet on a hot summer day. They are enjoying the end of their summer holidays before they must return to school. However, they have now reached the age where they must begin considering their futures and the types of adults they want to become. Each child has a different idea about what they want to be when they grow up. No two children want to become the same thing because even as children, they are all very individual. So let us join their conversation as they explain what they want to become...

"I'm sick of looking like a fish", says the first one. "I want to be a ladder!"

"At least you don't have to put up with this stupid ponytail", replies the second, "I want to be a triangle!"

"I'd just be happy looking more like a wine glass and less like a beer mug" the third one adds.

"Ha!" shouts the fourth, "I'm just gonna cut all my hair off!"

The fifth one interrupts. "You're just trying to be a rebel, all I want to do is grow taller. Although it would be kinda nice to have shorter feet and longer hands..."

The sixth one looks sad. "I don't like it when you guys leave me until last, it makes me feel like part of me has just fallen away. Besides, when I grow up, I wanna look like pacman!"

At this point you interrupt their conversation...

"Do you guys realise the irony of what your names spell out?"

They all stare blankly at you, wondering who this weird stranger is...

What are the names of each child and what's the irony in what it spells out?

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I think this classic story involves

letters from the Greek alphabet in lower case wishing to be upper case.

"I'm sick of looking like a fish", says the first one. "I want to be a ladder!

$\alpha$ → $A$ for Alpha

"At least you don't have to put up with this stupid ponytail", ... second, "I want to be a triangle!"

$\delta$ → $\Delta$ for Delta

"I'd just be happy looking more like a wine glass and less like a beer mug" the third one adds.

$\upsilon$ → $\Upsilon$ for Upsilon

"Ha!" shouts the fourth, "I'm just gonna cut all my hair off!"

$\lambda$ → $\Lambda$ for Lambda

The fifth one interrupts. "You're just trying to be a rebel, all I want to do is grow taller....

$\tau$ → $T$ " ... to have shorter feet and longer hands ..." for Tau (link shows character with feet)

The sixth one looks sad. "I don't like it when you guys leave me until last, it makes me feel like part of me has just fallen away. Besides, when I grow up, I wanna look like pacman!"

$\sigma$ → $\Sigma$ for Sigma

What are the names of each child and what's the irony in what it spells out?

these spell out ADULTS which is what the want to become.

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    $\begingroup$ Wow! That got solved way quicker than expected. I'm guessing you didn't even need the clue in the opening paragraph! (try looking at the first letter of every sentence) $\endgroup$ – Dmihawk Mar 1 '18 at 19:01
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    $\begingroup$ But that's not ironic... $\endgroup$ – Kat Mar 3 '18 at 5:18
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A quick addition to Tom's otherwise excellent answer (answer not comment to preserve spoilers):

The first part of the sixth one's statement, I don't like it when you guys leave me until last, it makes me feel like part of me has just fallen away. is because:

$\sigma$ becomes ς at the end of a word in Greek, which looks (vaguely) like the right-hand side of the letter has fallen off.

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  • $\begingroup$ Well done on picking up on that! :) $\endgroup$ – Dmihawk Mar 1 '18 at 19:00

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