You don't have to understand the world. You just have to find your own way around in it. - Albert Einstein

Sunday, 23 December 2012

What Littletree said, Part 2

I was lucky enough to get the chance to spend a week with one of my most favourite people, Littletree, and collect these sage and wonderful gems.

*****

Littletree was a little overwhelmed by how big the airport was.

Littletree: It's such a long way to walk from the building to the car.

Me: Yeah, it is. Sorry about that.

Littletree: Oh, don't apologise. It's not your fault. You didn't build this stupid place.

*****

I had just told Littletree a cute, funny kid story about myself when I was five years old. The climax of the story involved me presenting my Nana and Pa each with a piece of fruit cake. Littletree loved the story, and laughed and smiled, and then became quite serious and thoughtful.

Littletree: One day, if I become a grandmother...

I had the feeling that she was about to make one of her profound pronouncements, and listened carefully.

Littletree: ...I'm going to have to warn my grandchildren that I don't like fruit cake.

*****

While pondering how to get the fruit down from a tall tree, one that is not a good shape and inclination for climbing.

Me: We'll just have to get our thinking caps on.

Littletree: Oh, that's good, because I brought my thinking cap with me.

*****

Waiting to cross the street while walking home.

Littletree: Hey, Demelza...

Me: Yes?

Littletree: When we get home...

Me: Hmm, what?

Littletree: Please don't tell me there's a spider on my pillow.

Fortunately, this was a request with which I had no problem complying.

*****

Littletree was writing a postcard to a family she knows, and started with all their names.

Me: That's great sweetie. I think we might want another comma after A's name, as well.

Littletree: Oh no, because A and B are twins, and so I can't put a comma between them.

*****

While discussing colonial history.

Littletree: My great-great-grandparents were alive in the time of slavery.

Here I realised that Littletree had picked up a common misconception about the place of slavery in history, and thought I had better set out correcting it.

Me: Actually, the history of slavery is a lot more recent than that. Even, say, when Uncle CJ was alive, when he was young, there were slaves in this country. Well, they weren't called slaves, they were just called servants, but really they were slaves, because they didn't have any choice in it.

Littletree: Oh my god! Is Uncle CJ  really old?

He's only forty-eight. We worked it out.

*****

We were waiting to cross a busy road, when a car pulled up and the driver motioned for us to cross.

Me (once we were safely across the road): That was nice of that driver to stop and let us pass. That's been happening a lot since we've been walking around town. I don't usually see so many nice, kind drivers. Maybe it's because I'm walking with a cute kid.

Littletree: Yeah, I can't help it. I do have cute power.

Me: Oh, that's not something you have to help, sweetie. It can be a good thing, as long as you use your powers for Good and not Evil.

Littletree: What does that mean?

Then I had to explain what I meant, that I was kind of joking but also explaining the moral lesson in the saying.

Later that day, Littletree was pretty tuckered out. She was telling us about a dilemma she was experiencing, in which she wanted a chocolate treat from the shop, but was too tired to walk there. Mr. CJ pointed out that as he had to go out later to get milk anyway, he could give her a lift to the shop in the car.

Me: There you go, honey. It looks like you can use your cute powers to get Uncle CJ to drive you to the shop.

Littletree (quite strongly alarmed and disturbed): Oh no! I couldn't ever do that!

Me: Well, okay. But why not?

Littletree: Because you told me about how I have to use my powers for Good and not Evil!

*****

More of What Littletree Said is here.

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