Friday, January 9, 2009

An Apologetics Lesson

from Ratty.

A couple of days ago I was reading our next portion of The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame, to Olivia. She got the lesson immediately and we had a very good discussion of the law of cause and effect, although that is not how she would have phrased it. Here's that part of the story:

Mole and Rat are lost in the woods where a deep snow has fallen.

Mole: I must have tripped over a hidden branch or a stump. O my! O my!

Rat: It's a very clean cut. That was never done by a branch or a stump. Looks as if it was made by a sharp edge of something in metal. Funny!
(Rat then inspects the surrounding area.)

Mole: Well, never mind what done it. It hurts just the same, whatever done it.

(Rat continues to look around as Mole becomes more impatient.)

Rat: Hooray! Hooray-oo-ray-oo-ray-oo-ray!

Mole: What have you found, Ratty?

Rat: Come and see!

Mole: Well, I see it right enough. Seen the same sort of thing before, lots of times. Familiar object, I call it. A door-scraper! Well, what of it? Why dance jigs round a door-scraper?

Rat: But don't you see what it means, you - you dull-witted animal?

Mole: Of course I see what it means. It simply means that some very careless forgetful person has left his door-scraper lying about in the middle of the Wild Wood, just where it's sure to trip everybody up. Very thoughtless of him, I call it. When I get home I shall go and complain about it to - to someone or other, see if I don't!

In despair at Mole's obtuseness, Rat: O dear! O dear! Here, stop arguing and come and scrape!

Rat goes on to find a doormat, and a similar discussion between he and Mole occurs. Then...

In the side of what seemed to be a snow-bank stood a solid looking little door, painted a dark green....

Mole: Rat!, You're a wonder! A real wonder, that's what you are. I see it all now! You argued it out, step by step, in that wise head of yours, from the very moment that I fell and cut my shin, and you looked at the cut, and at once your majestic mind said to itself, 'Door-scraper!'....

Here's Olivia's interpretation of Michael Foreman's illustration.

So, what have you been finding lately?

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