Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Small man, big plans

Child #4 has always had an enquiring mind, which explains why I'm on first name terms with the ambulancemen, policemen and firemen of the area. I have A LOT of stories about things he has done in the name of "science", most of them unbelievable. Here's one of the latest.

Child #4 has been watching Megastructures on Discovery. Really, I should know better after some of his mechanical triumphs; including dismantling the air conditioners, removing the car seats and taking apart the mower. The security for household tools in our house would defy a Navy Seal team and an SAS squad working in close harmony.

(Tradesmen visiting our house are encouraged to keep all tools next to them or locked in their vans. They always look at us in that slightly strange "ooh look neurotic parents way", until they come back to collect their missing tools.)

Anyway, today's project. I was busy doing something important, like breathing, and was distracted from constantly monitoring #4. Then came a voice from outside, " Go on, stand on it."

" No."

" Go on."

I don't know why but I had to look. Child #4 had built his own megastructure inspired by a bridge. He had bridged the grand canyon (ok, a ditch in our back yard that is about six feet wide) with planks, rope and half an old trampoline frame. (Yes, he was responsible for the "half".) The whole thing was held up in a sort of suspension arrangement by the springs from the trampoline.

In the spirit of scientific endeavour he wanted child #3 to test his construction. He must have had doubts about it or he would have tested it himself. Child #3 is an innocent soul, the victim of many of #4's tests, but he doesn't learn. For instance, worms aren't poisonous, even after they've been microwaved. The microwave however had to be retired.

The problem with this test scenario was that this particular ditch in our back yard is in the process of being filled with rubble and old bricks. #4 had built his bridge and lowered it over the chasm with some sort of self made pulley system. It showed great ingenuity, flair and imagination but not much in the way of safety.

I set off for the back door in time to meet #3 coming in to report what #4 was up to. He may be learning after all as he hadn't been tricked onto the bridge. The same can't be said for the chickens.

#4 had taken some corn and thrown it onto the bridge to encourage the chickens on to it, followed by the cat, as I watched the bridge held, held, held, wobbled and then crashed earthwards in a scene reminiscent of some giant building demolition, only with feathers and a rocket propelled cat. I ducked to avoid a couple of springs as they pinged off the side of the house, and caught the cat.

So egg production will be down for a few days, shock does that to chickens, and #4 is rebuilding his bridge with more springs. He's trying to overcome the one dozen chickens and a cat weight limit. The cat is still #4's best friend, curiosity may indeed prove her undoing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. Makes me smile even after an hour of trying to get Georgia to sleep.