Monday, July 27, 2009

Barley the Pragmatist and folklore

Every camping trip must include a campfire. We had one each night, featuring stories, drinks, and recycled cub scout skits. This is where we can really see the personalities of the children of this playgroup. Having watched them play together since they were babies, we are all enjoying the evolution as we see them hit the tween years now. Some of the kids jostle to get in the limelight, and others will let themselves be dragged in reluctantly. I don't think we have any who have refused outright. We're a friendly group, and have been camping together for 6 summers now.

Our friend Dan, one parent who never shies away from the limelight when it comes to amusingly corny campfire tales, told the kids a story about how Bear lost his tail. The short version (not nearly as funny as Dan delivered it with facial expressions, and flourishes of his bum) involves jealous Fox tricking Bear into sticking his long luxurious tail into a hole for ice fishing overnight. Once it is frozen good and solid, Fox startles Bear into yanking his tail up quickly to catch a fish, and it snaps off! (ow!) It was cute to watch the children who could see the end coming, as they yelled (or whispered), No, don't put your tail in the hole, Bear!

At the very end, Barley announced, "But that was only ONE bear--not all of them!" Barley has trouble with suspension of disbelief. He refused to accept the idea that this was a myth, and part of me expected to hear him discourse on Darwin's theory of evolution vs. Lamarck's theory of evolution by acquired characteristics. If they taught this stuff in second grade, I'm sure he would have!

Of course, once he was safely tucked in his sleeping bag and out of earshot, I had to tell all the other families about the Dream Catcher story.


  1. I had missed his comment, but it doesn't surprise me a bit. Funny, though, how such a concrete, no-nonsense little boy can be so enthralled moments later with a camping bedtime story about Barney the Bat and Larry the Lobster and how they got sucked into a wormhole and rescued Yoda from Count Dooku!

  2. Ah, Star Wars references at the I miss those da....WAIT? WHAT? What has this world come to that Sci-Fi is the Fire side story..oh wait...DH...gotchya.


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