I asked The Professor (4) what animals he could see in this picture.
He said rabbit. Good, and what else? What about the birds? Yes, he agreed that birds were animals. And what else? The boat and the tractor, he said after a while. No, boats and traction engines are not animals (yeah, the traction engine has a face and is smiling, but let’s overlook that for now). What about the man driving the traction engine? No, people aren’t animals, he insisted. Yes they are, I said. I’m an animal, you’re an animal…
I’m not an animal!
Why aren’t you an animal? Why aren’t people animals? Animals have lots of legs was his answer. I said, what about birds? They only have two legs. I tried to think of another animal with fewer than four legs and came up with snakes. How many legs does a snake have? He thought for a while then said one. Okay, fair enough, that sort of makes sense, even if it’s wrong. Snakes don’t have any legs, I told him.
He accepted that. He accepts most things I say, but when I tell him that people are animals, that we’re animals, then he really can’t accept what I’m saying and gets as offended as a bible-belt creationist.
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