Thursday, April 17, 2008

a 4-year old's view of the zoo

My father and I took the kids to the Melbourne Zoo the other day.

Thomas was very excited about going, until he realised we didn't mean the brightly-coloured children's museum, which he loves, and where the animals are conveniently stuffed.

"Is it the coloured building?" he asked hopefully. "No, the animals are real. They're in cages."

Tantrums. Many tantrums.

But in the car, having reconciled himself to the idea that yes, we were going to the zoo, and starting to get excited, he said: "I like the zoo, but I like the coloured building better."

A big admission, coming from Thomas.


And here, in three sentences, is how Thomas saw the zoo:

"I don't like butterflies, they're not boy-ly."

"Why are the tortoises real?" He was clearly disappointed. The giant tortoises weren't moving much, and he wanted to climb on them.

"The penguins had red scarves on." I was puzzled, until I realised he meant the tiny red plastic identity tags clipped on their wings.

A young child sees the world through eyes so very different from our own.

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