Monday, October 29, 2007

A Gift from my Daughter

A Gift from my Daughter

Three-year-old daughter cornucopia came home from the daycare bazaar with an "o-miyage," a traditional gift from the holiday maker to the one who stayed at home.

"Ageru," she said, meaning [I] give [this to you.]

I took it. Some kind of vegetable matter, maybe a mutant broccoli or something like that. Tempura, at a guess.

I put it in my mouth, expecting to find some kind of tempura-type layer beneath my teeth. Instead, the food item had a plasticized surface. I took it out of my mouth. Not broccoli at all. Rather, some kind of weed festooned with poisonous berries.

Survival note (but you knew this, right?): the basic rule here on planet Earth is that animals are safe to eat but plants are poisonous.

If you go out into the garden and catch and eat anything that you can find which is working around, nothing critically bad will happen to you. Maybe food poisoning, maybe dysentery. Hydatids is a possibility. Tape worms, too. But you probably won't die.

If, on the other hand, you go out into the garden (any garden) and start eating plants at random, the probability is that you will shortly find yourself dying a gruesomely horrible death.

Cornucopia has, thank God, long since outgrown the phase when she would eat absolutely anything that found itself into her mouth. But I should make sure that my evolution does not recapitulate hers in reverse.

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