Monday, August 25, 2008

Picky elephants on parade

J loves elephants. They are one of his many favorite animals. He really loves their long trunks. He will frequently pretend to be an elephant. He will pick things up with his "trunk", and carry them about.

J wanted to know what sound an elephant made. I showed him how I was taught when I was about his age. You hold out your arms at about shoulder level, cross your left arm under your right, so that your left elbow is under your right elbow. Then you bend your left arm and pinch your nose with your left hand. Finally, you lift your right arm (being your "trunk") and blow out between clenched lips. Makes a wonderfully loud squeal. Not entirely, but almost, completely unlike an elephant's ... sound. (As an aside, what is an elephant's sound actually called? Wail? Squeal? Trumpet? What?)

Anyway, J has attempted to replicate this with varied degrees of success. Eventually, he abandoned the arm motions and has just contented himself with squealing loudly. He sounds kind of like a semi-trailer with failing brakes. But he enjoys it.

The other day, he was running around squealing away like a little maniacal semi-trailer. And someone asked what he was doing.

J: That's what an elephant says. (Loud semi-trailer brake squealing noise)
T: Right. An elephant says (squeal, complete with arm motions)

J looked at me. Doing the arm motions for the elephant's trunk. Pinching my nose and lifting my arm into the air. Like a freak.

J: Elephants pick their noses.

Good. I'm glad I could teach him the basics.

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