(While watching an animal cartoon on TV with Dad)
Beren: Caterpillars don't really talk do they?
Dad: Nope. Animals don't talk; it's only pretend.
Beren: Dogs talk though.
Dad: They do?
Beren: Yeah, they bark.
Dad: Well yeah, but that's not really talking. They don't speak English like we do.
Beren: They speak "Barkish."
(Eating breakfast with Grandma Blanchard before going to the Oregon State Fair)
Grandma: Are you excited about seeing the animals?
Beren: What?! There aren't any animals at the fair!
Grandma: Sure there are! Cows, chickens, goats, horses . . .
Beren: Oh, farm animals. But not any dangerous animals, right? Like bees?
(Following a conversation where I had explained that our friend's mom had passed away and what all that meant. Beren approached the kitchen table 10 minute later with this concern)
Beren: Did she die because someone forgot to say "bless you" when she sneezed?
Mom: Uhhhh . . . no. It was a little more serious than that. You know, Beren, when I said that it's polite to say "bless you" after someone sneezes, I didn't
mean . . .
(Beren's preschool class is taking a bird watching walk. Beren is at the front of the line)
Child #1: Look at that crow!
(all children point their mini-binoculars skyward)
Child #2: Look, teacher, I found a feather!
(I collect feather for our art project)
Beren: Mom! Quick! Bring the kids. This is very unusual.
(Children gather around an automobile parked on the curb)
Beren: This car is a Toyota . . . but its hubcaps say Volkswagen!