Monday, September 06, 2004



Speaking as a breeder, I always used to find it incredible how very young children - no more than a year or so old - learn to speak. With a vocabulary of no more than a couple of dozen words, they are able to communicate incredibly complex notions about the world around them to other people. Like my daughter for example (first word: hat), who, at the age of almost-but-not-quite-ten-years-old, we cannot shut up, was able to pass on these difficult concepts when she was little more than a year old:

"Ouch! Jebus! And ouch! Here we are in this large flooring retailer - and ouch! - I've just run off, tripped over - and Jebus! - I've gone and cartwheeled over my own feet and landed square on my head. Ouch!": Carpet. Bump.

"Oh woe is me! Here I was, toddling along with this freebie from McDonalds, the wind got up a bit, and woosh! Before I knew it, the bloody thing's up there, a dot in the middle distance. Any chance of a replacement?": Balloon. Gone.

"Christ on a bike! Will you just take a look at the weather out there - the road's running in rivers! There's no way I'm going out there, even if you paid me.": Raining. Outside.

"Wooah! What the bloody hell's THAT? Here I am sitting in this bath, minding me own business, and some twerp's gone and frightened the crap out of me with this stupid great rubber bath toy. There's no bloody way I'm going to play with it - get it away from me before I puke with abject fear.": Scary. Duck.

So now you know.

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