July 10, 2013

Interspecies love story

Kids can be really, really funny. Sometimes they are trying; most often they are not. They just say the most outrageous things. They make us laugh. They make us squirm. They make us do both at the same time.

The other day, SB and I met some friends at a new place in town. It's a great facility designed for kids to play and discover and let their imaginations run wild. There are stations throughout with all kinds of different materials. The idea is to let the kids take them and be inspired to create.

At one station, there was paper stapled together so kids could make books. There was colored construction paper on the outside, for the cover, and white paper inside. SB grabbed a purple one and declared she wanted us to make a book together. I was to write the words as she said them, and we would draw the pictures together.

I daresay she let her imagination run a little too wild...

"OK, great!" I said. "Let's make a book. What is the title going to be?"

"Wolves and cheetahs love."

(By way of background, the wolf is my favorite animal. The cheetah is SB's.)

I wrote the title on the cover. Then we turned to the first page and worked together to draw a wolf and a cheetah. At which point, SB decided she wanted to go do something else. She announced we would finish our book at home.

Fast forward a few hours. Back at the house, she was ready to continue working on the book. So I pulled it out, reviewed what we had so far and asked SB to tell me what happens next...

"The wolf and the cheetah meet, and they fall in love."


""Hmm. And then what?"

"Then they both have babies."

"That's... very interesting. I'm afraid there are a few potential problems with your plot, however."

"Like what?"

"Well, it takes a male and a female to make a baby, first of all."

"I know THAT."

"Only the female can grow the baby inside her and give birth. Males don't have the ability to do that."


"So if the wolf and the cheetah made a baby, one would be a male and one would be a female. And only the female could give birth."

"The wolf and the cheetah both have babies in my story."

"I see. Well, there is also the matter of interspecies mating..."

"What does that mean?"

"The wolf and the cheetah are different animals, right? Different species."


"Well, in nature, different species do not mate with each other. Wolves mate with wolves and cheetahs mate with cheetahs."


Her shoulders sagged and she looked down at the ground. I felt kind of badly, but when it comes to the subject of making babies, I think it is best to stick to the facts.

"I have an idea for the story. What if I share my idea with you, and you tell me if you think it is good or not? OK?"


"Great. We could say the wolf and the cheetah meet and become friends. They are both female, and they are both expecting babies, and --"

"And then they push and push and push and the babies come out of their vaginas."

"Mmmm hmmm. Yep. That is how a baby is born. You've got the mechanics down. But how about for the story we simply say they gave birth?"


"OK. So, the babies are born and --"

"And they drink their mommy's milk."

"Yes. Of course. They would drink their mommy's milk. Because wolves and cheetahs are mammals, right? Just like humans are."


"OK. So, what if the babies started to play together, and they became friends, too?"


"Do you like that?"

"Yes. I like it."

"OK, great. I think we've come up with a really nice story."

I didn't bother to explain wolves and cheetahs live in totally different parts of the world and would never actually interact in nature. Instead I went to the kitchen and poured myself a drink.

The end.

OK, so it's a dog. This is the closest I could find to wolf-cheetah love. (photo credit)

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