This morning Sophs and I were sitting at the table eating some animal crackers. (Okay. I was eating some animal crackers. She was licking some animal crackers and merrily parading them around the table.) Sophie kept pausing, holding one up and asking me, "Mama, what animal is this?"
Sometimes I would have an answer, "That's a buffalo, Soph."
But more often than not, I wouldn't have the foggiest clue what kind of animal it was supposed to be. So, after a significant pause, I'd just blurt something out. A donkey! Were animal crackers this kooked out when we were growing up, or have the animal cracker makers started smoking weed while baking fun kiddie treats?
Here's my best guess at what these creatures are (left to right, top to bottom)...
Row #1: Mountain goat, chubby alligator or some sort of dolphin with legs, something in the feline family (cougar, maybe?)
Row #2: Buffalo, donkey, hippopotamus
Row #3: Kitten, horse, elephant with a raging case of elephantitis of the trunk
And notice how they all have randomly placed dimples? When I first noticed it on the "hippo", I thought the indentation was supposed to be an eye. But then I noticed several of them had their "eyes" on their legs, backs, and under their bellies. ...Or not at all. Huh.
If you are gifted in the art of Animal Distinguishing (or weed-smoking), please help me out. I'd love to be able to answer my daughter's questions with some hint of certainty in my voice the next time we have a snack.
As it is, we left the table this morning with her telling me (in a tone that would have included sighing and eye-rolling, had she been about ten years older), "Mama, you don't really know a whole lot about animals, do you?"
(This post was originally published July 27, 2007.)