Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bites

Flora
I.
One evening last week, Helena announced she didn't want any meat for supper, which was a little odd — the girl loves her red meat. Just broccoli. And, after she scanned the contents of the refrigerator, mango. In no mood to argue, I obliged her. There are worse meals in the world. A whole mango as an appetizer, then three helpings of steamed broccoli. After which, she was pretty set on heading straight to bed. Then she threw up.

The next time Helena wants broccoli and mango for supper, I'll probably think twice before conceding. Probably.

Days later, we're out for a walk and hear sirens. Helena cranes her neck, anticipating a glimpse of a camion pompier. She was a little disappointed to see an ambulance. What's an ambulance? I explain that perhaps there was an accident or someone is very sick and called for help. She runs with the idea: "Peut-etre c'est un monsieur qui a mangé trop du mango."

II.
We did some planting last weekend, which with Helena's help was easily three times the work, time, and mess I'd counted on. We have a nice little container garden now, with a sturdy tomato plant, herbs, and a few flowers.

We've planted some morning glory too. We don't know if it'll thrive in this container environment, but thus far it's been particularly gratifying: opening the packet and counting out the seeds, germinating them in wet paper towel, transferring the seedlings to soil — visible growth, daily, even hourly.

Helena imagines them growing tall, tall, taller than the roof. We must install buttons on them that we can push in order to tell them to stop.

Fauna
(or things Helena cannot believe)
I.
Helena asks what's for supper. Barbecued porkchops, I say. J-F tells her we're having pig. Helena find this to be ridiculous, quite a joke.

Obviously, we've not watched Charlotte's Web often or carefully enough.

II.
There's a mosquito perched on the balcony railing, evidently waiting for the rain to subside. Helena checks on it every few minutes. She asks me where it lives, do I think it's lost, where are its mama and papa. I tell her I don't know. All I know is that when it gets hungry it'll sit on her, poke its "leg" inside her like a needle and drink her blood.

This story yielded wide-eyed amazement, then laughter. Days later Helena has settled into gentle mockery of Mama's crazy story. So crazy, it couldn't possibly be true.
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