The final (at least the last scheduled) fall field trips drove away this week. Each offers its own teachable moments. As I stood at along the front fence of the farm animal sanctuary with a preschool group from Dupont, one of the smallest boys stopped and called, ”Soo-wee! Soo-wee!” in hopes of calling forth pigs. I puzzled over that, wondering why he would think they would come.
“Um, that’s not going to work. They’ve never heard that before. Call them by name. Try calling Nemo, Beatrice, Bob…”
Adults might have been offended. Heck, I probably would have. After all, we are all told that turkeys gobble, donkeys hee-haw, geese honk, and pigs come running when you shout Soo-wee. That little guy never stopped to take a breathe before he called to Nemo and she trotted up and over the hill followed by Beatrice and Carlton. Clive, a much more cautious pot-belly, watched from a distance in the southern area of the pasture.
“What’s his name?” asked the boy.
“Oh, that’s Clive. But he won’t come. He’s very shy about people.”
“CLI-I-IVE!” called the small young voice of optimism. Here came Clive. The boy asked if Clive would eat the mint leaves that the boy had collected in the garden. I said no. But what do I know? Clive took it gently between his tiny front teeth, then allowed the boy and several classmates to pet his tufty fur.
Just when I’m feeling all wise and knowledgable, something raises a metaphysical eyebrow in my direction and suggests eh, maybe not so much.