Saturday, June 2, 2012
Obsession Du Jour
Our nine-year-old grandson develops intense interests for short periods. Well, sometimes the periods last for several years. This was true of his Shark Period. In kindergarten, he bolted from Circle Time and rolled on the floor, protesting, "I am not a boy who's interested in books about penguins."
During the past year, it's been aquariums and the fishy dwellers therein ("Can we get a red-tailed shark?"), then lizards, GameBoy, backyard ponds and koi. Last week it was crayfish traps. Every so often, his interest in specific breeds of dogs kicks back in. He's read up on the various breeds so that he can campaign more effectively for the kind of dog he thinks his parents should get when their 15-year-old mutt crosses the rainbow bridge. This changes from week to week. Past favorites have included Boston Bulls, French Bull Dogs, Siberian Huskies, Dobermans, Minpins, and Puggles. Oh, yeah, and Pomeranians.
During his most recent Dog Period, he was reading aloud from Lynne Reid Banks' The Secret of the Indian. A horse's leg appeared "titanic" to a time-traveling two-inch-high English boy who'd landed in a frontier Texas town in the late 19th century. I asked him if he knew what "titanic" meant. He said, "Yes, it was a huge ship that sank after World War I." We talked about what "titanic" meant in the book's context. He listened, but he was clearly itching to tell me something. "Do you know that one of the three dogs that was rescued on the Titanic was a Pomeranian?"