Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Every night I read a story to The Girl before bedtime, and while some nights it can be Alice in Wonderland or Dr. Seuss, other nights we read about the world. Not just the human world, but the real one – what plants we can eat in the woods, how food chains work, why we need bugs and frogs.
We often talk about fossils and what they used to be, and she has a particular fondness for ammonites, those spiralled animals found throughout the oceans for hundreds of millions of years. She saw an ammonite fossil at the Ailwee caves as large as a coffee table, and gasped when I told her that these rocks of the mountain once lay beneath the ocean.
Today she picked an encyclopaedia to read, and as we looked at early life under the sea, she spotted one.
“An anomite!” she said, delighted, and began to do a cheerleader-style song-and-dance about her new favourite thing.
“Ammonites, ammonites, you can play like Mighty Mites,*
You never act mean or bite,
You never wear pink dancing tights,
I love you, you ammonites.”
* Mighty Mites -- a kid's programme on CBeebees, the BBC children's station.
Photo: The Girl on the Burren. Dolmen in the background.