Thursday, September 13, 2012

When My Inappropriate Sense of Humor Interprets a Kid's Book

So my 7 year old brought home Eric Carle's "The Tiny Seed" from the school library for his AR book.

We've enjoyed so many of Mr. Carle's books throughout the years.  This is no exception.

But I found myself desperately trying not to laugh while my son read it to me.


It's simple really:  Who knew the life cycle of flowers was so cut throat!

It's a child appropriate tribute to Darwin's survival of the fittest (in beautiful colors) with a touch of The Highlander for the plant world!

So here we go, in quick successions, the marvelous demise of all the other little seeds:

1.  Our first victim is named Icarus (not really, but, you know, if we were going to name them, this one would be named Icarus)-- and is, as expected, burned to death by the rays of the sun.

2.  Our second victim freezes to death in the snowy mountains.  (Did you know there are websites dedicated to keeping track of things like movie deaths by freezing?  Neither did I.  Here for your morbid entertainment, I share this list.)

3.  Our third victim drowns.  (Considering... it's probably a better death than being eaten alive by the big golden fish in the water....)

4.  Our fourth victim is stranded in the desert and is presumed to starve to death...though, in retrospect, dehydration could also have gotten it.  (The upshot of this particular section is it gives my boy a chance to identify the saguaro cactuses.)

5./6. ...Remember that part where I mentioned drowning would be a better death than being eaten alive?...Yeah, our next two victims have that fate.  One by a bird, the other by a mouse.  And our little seed is so traumatized by the first incident, it's near comatose during the second.  (Okay, so it's winter...and an inanimate still says, and I quote, "But the tiny seed lies very still and the mouse does not see it."  So there!  Near comatose with fright, I tell you!)

And then beautiful spring arrives!  And the season of growing begins.  Everyone happily starts to put down roots and spread their fresh new leaves up to be kissed by the sun!

...except for

Seed 7.   Who is over shadowed by the evil weed, who steals all the life giving necessities and outright murders little plant #1, who used to be seed #7.

In the desperate need to relieve the cabin fever of winter, children are turned loose into our spring environ...

8.  In the ensuing merriment, plant #2 (aka seed #8) is trampled to death.

So we are left with only 2, and can see that our underdog little seed is being overshadowed by an early bloomer (no...literally:  It has the first flower of spring and everything!)  Gotta fix that!

9.  So enter our enamoured young gentleman whose going to sacrifice the newly bloomed flower and offer up it's carcass to the girl  of his dreams.  (Okay, I'm sure I'm the only one equating that with the cat and let me fix that real fast:

There!  Now we're ALL equating giving flowers with the cat and squirrels! )

And so we arrive at at our highlander moment:

The flower grows beyond the size any natural flower ever could-- David has become Goliath!

And the book ends with the implication that, if you wanted to, you could flip to the front of the book and start the story all over again!
And again!
And again!
...It has the potential (and if you have a toddler, it very well might!) to be the literary version of this:

And that, dear readers, is why I'm trying not to laugh.

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