Saturday, May 1, 2010

When Literature Comes to Life

Yesterday I wrote about our discovery of the ducklings at the park, and how excited my kids were to see what we had read about in The Trumpet of the Swan, by E. B. White.
Well, it gets better.
The same day we went to the park and saw the ducks, we went to Costco. That's really not such a big deal, I know, but my kids are hooked on the free samples, so they were excited. But the real excitement that day wasn't in the store, but in the parking lot. When we drove toward the Costco entrance, we spotted this:

Yes, that is a Canada Goose nesting on an "island" in the parking lot. There is a run-off pond below the Costco parking lot, and several geese have made this location their summer home.
Her mate stood protectively nearby. He hissed at us quite a bit when we stopped our van and took a better look at them. The children were beside themselves with delight at getting to see a goose, the closest thing we have in our area to a swan, nesting just like in our chapter book.
We made a point to drive by and see her several more times. Just a few days ago, we drove by and the nest was abandoned. I got out of the van and took a closer look, and several egg shells were there, but no whole eggs. Apparently, the goslings had hatched.
So we drove to a parking lot that bordered the run-off pond and found the goose family at the water's edge. The geese were alarmed to see humans coming toward them, and they hurried their goslings into the water where they'd be safe from the perceived threat.
The children counted eight goslings altogether.
On our way back to the car, we were confronted by a large goose. He spread his wings and drew close. The children stood behind me, and I extended my arms in what I figured was a similar gesture to his. He closed his wings, eyed me, and backed up. I guess I was a bigger bird than him.
It's amazing what a child can learn about our world through reading. Have you read to your child today?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, how lovely!

    Several years ago, my boys & I read all these books from the library (baby girl was, well, a baby) - on topics that they chose while we were there. One of the books was about this strange dinosaur/fish (they were BIG into dinosaurs then) called a ceolecanth (butchering spellg, I'm sure). Anyway, they were intrigued by it, & the book told us that nobody knew for sure if they still existed...extinct or not, nobody knew b/c they were so rarely seen, & never alive!

    Whatdya know, but within 6 months of our reading that book, some fishing boat off the remote coast of New Zealand (or somewhere) caught one - ALIVE!! My boys were thrilled, & we checked out the book again & again.

    Like Paul Harvey & one of life's strangest tales of mystery, they prided themselves in being able to best the book with the 'end of the story.' Terrific when that happens!!

    And you know, my working friend/mom still wonders 'what I did all day' when they were very young children. If you don't know the answer to a question like that, you'll just never know. (Do I tell her we hunted ceolecanths?)

    God is good! And I am grateful.