Tuesday, November 30, 2010

THE COCK AND THE PEARL -- IT'S EXACTLY WHAT YOU THINK!!

Sitting in Saia's karate class tonight, flipping through my email, reminding Chago every two seconds to focus on his book, he's got twenty minutes left to do.

"Mom, I'm so boooooored with it already!" he says, slouching his shoulders, hanging his head, the whole nine dramatic yards.

"Alright, bubba. Let's find you something else."

[Whip out the iPhone. Scroll thru the eBooks library for new freebies. First children's author I see, I pick. It's alphabetical. It was Aesop.]

He reads solid for the next 35 minutes, gingerly flicking his finger to advance pages as he hops with relative ease from fable to fable to fable.  They're not new to him.  He's read them at home, but suddenly everything old is new again. It's just the gadgetphoria. I know. I get it.  He's all aglow in backlight.  I'm both proud and disgusted at the same time.

When we get home, though, he of course brags to Saia what he got to do while she was working.  Predictably, two seconds later, she says, "Mom, can I..."

"Yes, of course, Saia," I preempt. "Here you go."

So, I'm at the stove making dinner. Mommy's looking over Chago's shoulder as he draws.  And Saia's creepily fondling my iPhone, which, as an aside, suddenly makes me wonder if that's what I look like, all hunched over, fingers flying mindlessly, euphoric grin spreading across her face.  Nevermind, don't answer that.  And she suddenly shouts out, "Mom, what's a cock?"

I Dorothy Hammill spin, spatula in one hand, wine glass in the other, my mouth completely agape.  Amy gives me the what-the-hell-have-you-been-doing-with-your-iphone look.  And Chago, still drawing, waves his left hand above his head and says, "I know. I know."

As it turns out, she'd actually only benignly opened the Aesop's Fables ebook and was referring to the following story:
The Cock and The Pearl 
A cock was once strutting up and down the farmyard among the hens when suddenly he espied something shinning amid the straw. "Ho! ho!" quoth he, "that's for me," and soon rooted it out from beneath the straw. 
What did it turn out to be but a Pearl that by some chance had been lost in the yard? "You may be a treasure," quoth Master Cock, "to men that prize you, but for me I would rather have a single barley-corn than a peck of pearls."
Precious things are for those that can prize them.
Yeah. I know.  Go ahead and read it again.

So suddenly I'm kinda viewing Aesop a little more like Joey from Friends ("Grandma's chiiiiickeeen saaaalaaad").

Is EVERY fable he's ever written so sexually-laden (The Snake and The File, The Ass and The Enemy...)? How is it possible that all these years I never noticed the obvious subtext (The Crow and The Pitcher, The Golden Eggs...)?  Is it just me (The Fir and The Bramble, The Hart and The Vine...)?  It's an age thing, isn't it (The Trees and The Woodman, The Man That Pleased None...)?  And exactly how has someone in the porn industry not picked up on the golden marketing opportunity here?  I mean, you could really do an entire series...

Anyway...whole 'nother conversation.
...

3 comments:

Sarah said...

OMG, too funny! I was a teacher at a Head Start until this summer. I started reading a "Mental Health" book. It talked about how this kid was scared of Cobras swimming over from India to get him, of the mean ugly lunch lady who might poison him, and how he might not get into heaven. I stopped reading it after looking up to see the childrens' eyes popping out of their heads. My own kids had a book on tape with a nursery rhyme that went "Lady Bug, Lady Bug fly away home, your house is on fire and your children will burn." Really people! LOL

Jason Beymer said...

That was hilarious, Jo Anna!

JO ANNA GUERRA said...

@Sarah, that's too funny! I have so many from my childhood, too, that I thought were just sweet little Mexican lullabies, but which, apparently, are anything but!!!

@Jason, it's only funny 'cause it's TRUE!! :)