Sarah Avery (dr_pretentious) wrote,
Sarah Avery
dr_pretentious

Gareth Invents The Riddle

Sitting in his high chair, he turned a broken pretzel from hand to hand, musing, "It looks like a tiger cat, but it's not a tiger cat. It looks like an elephant, but it's not an elephant. Two tails!"

It was like being privy to the riddle duel of Bilbo Baggins and Gollum, only without the murky cave or the mortal peril.

I'd had no idea Gareth could make that kind of cognitive stretch. It was surprising enough a couple of months ago when he looked at one of our cat toys, one with a sort of mini feather duster at the end of a long, flexible plastic handle, and he declared, "Bird flower!" I could only say, "Sweetheart, you've just invented poetry."

As cool as it was to be present at the invention of poetry, it was even cooler to be present at the invention of the riddle, because whatever resemblance Gareth saw between the broken pretzel, the tiger, and the elephant, it was not immediately revealed by his having named it, not the way "Bird flower!" revealed the cat toy. The jump from the seen to the imagined was a longer jump than the jump between the seen and the revealed, if that makes any sense.

And some people wonder why I don't pine for classroom teaching.
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