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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

He's Still a Good Little Eater

Dinner is at 5:00.

He holds his fork up, a piece of chicken at the end of it.  “What is this?”

“Chicken.”

“What’s it made of?”

“Chicken.”

Dylan, three, almost four years old, looks at me sideways.  He was born an old soul, and he scans my eyes for signs of deception.

“Chickens?” he says.  “Bok bok bok?  Chickens?”

“Yes.”

He looks at the meat thoughtfully.  “I’m so sowwy,” he says.  He kisses it lightly, then continues his meal.

The next night is more of the same.

“What is this?”

“Beef.”

“What’s it made of?”

“Cow.”

He points out the window, over the county road that divides our home and the farm across from us.  “Cows?” he says.  “Moo-cows?”

“Yes.”

He looks down at his hamburger steak, pushes the onions and mushrooms off.  “I’m so sowwy,” he says.  And he leans over and kisses it.  I cut it up for him, and he kisses every subsequent bite, something I find equally amusing and disturbing. 

He eats it all.

The third night, there is a slice of ham each.

Dylan spears one of the pieces on his plate.  “What’s this?”

“Ham.”

“Yeah,” he says, “but what’s it made of?”

“Pig.”

He takes it in and is silent for a moment.  “These animoes,” he says.  “We kee-ew them and eat them?”

I nod.  “Well,” I say.  “We don’t.  Farmers raise them, then they’re killed and cut up and sold to us in stores.  Remember?  We bought it at the supermarket.”

Dylan stares at the ham on his fork.  Blink.  Blink.  

“You know,” I say.  “There are lots of people who don’t eat meat, ever, not just on the days they can’t afford it.  They don’t eat meat because they feel it’s wrong.  We could do that, if you want.  We could stop eating meat.”

Dylan looks at the ham , looks at me, smiles.

“No, that’s aw-wight,” he says, taking a bite.  “I like meat.”

26 comments:

vanilla said...

Wise child. I like meat, too!

Furry Bottoms said...

Aw, that dear child!

Pearl said...

He was -- and is -- a charming, clever person.

Indigo Roth said...

Well, if we weren't supposed to eat them, why are they made of meat?

jenny_o said...

To my sorrow, I like meat, too. But I'm learning to like some of that other stuff as well, the protein that grows in the ground instead of on it.

No wonder your son is clever and charming - look who he got for a mama!

Liz said...

Out of the mouth of babes:) I like meat too!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
I love his sensitivity. I love that you offered him the choice. ...he has time to rethink... from YAMyam, the vego... xx

Jocelyn said...

He's like the Hollywood version of a Native-American, what with the way he blesses the dead animal. Maybe, next time you guys are hanging out, watch A MAN CALLED HORSE with him--just to see if any of that speaks to him. At the very least, it's time that Dylan became aware of Richard Harris as an actor.

joeh said...

My son went to the dark side for a number of years (vegetarian)It did nasty things to his digestion...

Catalyst/Taylor said...

That's a good boy!

Delores said...

Good for him. That's a sensibhle lad.

Mitchell is Moving said...

I wike Dylan!

Leenie B said...

Comprehending the realities of life is such a challenge, even for grown-ups.

Jono said...

At least he appreciates the origin of his food and knows where it comes from. I think he is ahead of most adults.

Elephant's Child said...

Another vego here - but I like the way your boy thinks. And am not surprised.

Sioux said...

Clever, charming boys turn into smart, warm-hearted men...

Pat Tillett said...

Nice one Pearl! That is so cute. I have a four year old grandson who doesn't eat meat. I heard him say "I don't eat meat" many times. The other day I made bacon, eggs and toast for breakfast. His plate had no bacon on it and he asked why. I told him that I thought he didn't eat meat. He said "I don't eat meat, but I eat bacon!" Can't blame him for that...

Launna said...

How cute is that, he worries about the animals... this was such a cute story Pearl :)

Thank you for your really sweet comment, I am pretty happy... now if Spring would just happen :)

HermanTurnip said...

That's an awesome conversation! Going to have the wife drop on in to read this post. Curse you for making me smile and feel...feelings. ;-)

Slamdunk said...

Ha, fun exchange. Your son certainly gives a glimpse of how smart he is--many teens have never made that connection.

River said...

You raised the cutest kid! It's good that he was aware of where his food came from. Too many kids these days haven't a clue their burgers were once Daisy or Bessie calmly eating grass in a field.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

This made me think of when my youngest Jessica decided to give up meat, that was until she realised she loves her cheeseburgers.....lol

Rose L said...

I could not give up meat. It is cute how he kissed the food! Cute!

the walking man said...

It is good. Vegetarians are large producers of methane. Ten times as toxic to the atmosphere than CO2.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

I love this story. Too bad they didn't have meat cubes back then. I don't like the idea of meat. But I do like meat. I blame my upbringing.

Daisy said...

Very sweet! At least he apologized. :)