While at my brother’s house, with Sarah, age 4:
Sarah, handing me Donald Duck, says, “Here, play with me. You be the bad guy. The princess [Minnie Mouse] is in trouble and the prince [Mickey] has to save her.”
“But what if the prince gets in trouble?” I ask. Sarah frowns at me. She says, “The prince doesn’t get in trouble. He’s the prince! He saves the princess.” Knowing this clearly came from too much Disney influence, I insisted, “But what if he does get in trouble? What then?” I had in mind Prince Philip in Sleeping Beauty, for I would call a dragon Trouble, but I couldn’t remember who saved him. My mind races: Aladdin? Jasmine was no help there either.
Sarah replies, “Princes don’t get in trouble.”
Aha! “Belle saves the Beast in Beauty and the Beast. He almost dies, but she saves him!” I exclaim. Sarah ponders this for a moment. I seize my chance. “So, if the prince gets in trouble, who saves him?”
“The princess!” she shouts, grinning. She gives me a sly look. “…And if the princess is in trouble, who saves her?”
“The prince,” I concede, in light of Disney evidence. But I wouldn’t relent. “And if they’re both in trouble…”
“They save each other!” Good job, Sarah.
* * *
Last night while watching the Olympics, I’m knitting, and my dad is listening from the other room. I hear something outside and then in the chimney. I, like anyone who’s grown up in a desert, asks in disbelief, “Is it raining?”
“I don’t know. Let me check the weather,” my dad says, and starts to look it up on his computer. I mute the television and listen… yes, it’s raining. But my dad says, “No, we’re not supposed to get any rain until Sunday.”
“It sounds like it’s raining,” I comment.
“Oh, well, the radar shows we might have some scattered clouds… but not a lot of rain, and it won’t last for very long.”
It sounded, however, like it was pouring. “Er, Dad, I think it’s coming down.”
He finally gets up and opens the door to look out. “Oh!” he exclaims. “It is raining.”
“You shouldn’t be a meteorologist,” I say. He laughs, and holds the door open for Jewely, who comes bounding in yowling because she is wet. Poor cat. How undignified.