Sunday, August 13, 2006
A 7-Year-Old Girl Who Loves Snails
Not having children of my own, I live vicariously through my colleague T. at work, who has a delightfully funny 7-year-old girl at home.
One of the first stories he told me about Sarah was about how she was writing out her Christmas list for Santa last winter and called T. into her room. "How do you spell 'mansion?' " she asked. "Before I could read, I would have thought it was with a 'j,' but now I think it's with a 'ch,' " she said.
I had to really laugh recently, though, when it was learned that Sarah had developed a deep affection for snails. It was her third favorite animal, she told her father. No. 1 was the horse and No. 2 was the bald eagle.
She would hold snails in her hand, show them to her parents and her older sister, and decided to collect a few to keep in the back yard, where she fed them and gave them water. One morning she came inside to report to her father that she had "let them out for some exercise." "Exercise?" T. asked. "Well, I thought they could use some free time," she said.
The snails, being snails, didn't run away, but finally Sarah and T. decided it was probably best to let them return to their natural environment. Sarah hadn't gotten too attached to them. "I didn't want to name them," she said, "because I couldn't tell the difference between the boys and girls."
Actually, it turns out snails are hermaphrodites.
But I digress.
Recently, T. and his family spent some time in Lake Tahoe with their friends. One night, the girls came in and pleaded to be able to swim in the resort's pool. What the heck, T. thought, we're on vacation.
He was in the room with Sarah as the 7-year-old was changing into her bathing suit. As she did so, she was saying, "I'm so happy, I'm so happy! Thank you, Dad, thank you!" To which, T. said, "You're welcome."
Sarah looked at him with a frown and said, "I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to God. I call him Dad sometimes."
Said T.: "That really put me in my place."
Posted by "Stella" at 5:50 PM