Thursday, July 17, 2008
Liam is eight. He's a funny bunch of likes and dislikes, a little bitty boy in a taffy-stretched body. His mind is expanding, and his curiosity and passion are boundless. Here's a sample conversation between me and Liam, one day in the car (where we do our best talking).
Liam: Mommy, if you were to heat water to 500 degrees and shoot it in a person's ear, what would happen?
Science Chimp: Well, Liam, since water boils at 212 degrees, water at 500 degrees would classify as superheated, and it would be instantly turned to scalding hot steam, so that would hurt the person very much.
Liam: But what if the person was old?
Mommy: It would still hurt. (helpless laughter)
On our trip to the Krapp bison ranch, he got to ride in the tractor cab with Elliott. The rest of us had to bump along in an open wagon behind them. He kept shooting happy, triumphant glances back at us as the prairie rolled out before him.
Liam likes bones. He likes all kinds of bones. He spotted a bunch of bones from a winter-killed bison and was practically clawing at the door to get out and collect them.
He eyes the bulbous condyles with the air of a connoisseur.Shirt courtesy of Rondeau Ric and Anne McArthur.
You will notice the Webkinz monkey under his arm. Somewhere in the hustle to collect the bison bones, including a fabulous skull, Liam dropped his treasured monkey. This is the last photo of Liam with his monkey.
The night before, we had listened to the stories of Keith Bear, a gifted Native American storyteller, singer/songwriter and musician. He spoke of always giving something back to the earth after taking something from it. Liam and Phoebe were front row, rapt for his entire presentation.
A very kind man on the bison trip, having seen Liam's distress at losing his monkey, mingled with excitement at finding the skull, reminded Liam that he'd traded the monkey for the skull, and that made it all better.** And then the same gentleman offered to drive Liam's bone collection to the Cincinnati area, for later pickup, for he and his wife are from Ohio. Charlie and Jean, thank you. We'll get with you on those bones. Liam has since acquired a dozen more Webkinz, but bison bones are few and far between in Whipple.
Phoebe (with shawl by NatureKnitter Ruthie J.); Keith Bear and Liam. Carrington, North Dakota, June 2008.
And just for fun, JZ and BOTB get their picture taken with Keith and his handmade flutes.
**Liam: No, it didn't. I miss my monkey. This makes me sad (clutching his Webkinz toucan to his skinny little chest).