Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Garrison and I saw something interesting this morning. Two skunks mating on the side of the driveway, on the way out to the bus this morning, just before dawn. Garrison is 10 and the questions have been getting asked a lot lately about why he can't have a baby brother. This morning's interesting site brought new questions to the front. "What are they doing?" "They're mating, you know, like the chickens do?" Silence. A silence very heavy with more questions. So I ventured a little more details. "The momma skunk can't have babies unless she mates with the daddy." "Oh..." Our driveway is pretty long, so you can imagine that this was not going to go away quickly. "Oh, so I shouldn't be making the rooster get off the hens then, I guess!" I looked at him, "That's right, if you don't let them mate, then none of your eggs in the incubator will make baby chickens." More silence. "Okay, but I don't understand. How does the rooster help the eggs hatch?" This was going to get technical, I could see it coming now. And darn it if the bus wasn't there yet when we got to the end of the driveway. I was hoping that it would be there, but luck wasn't with me this morning."Well, the hen already has the eggs inside of her, but the rooster has to fertilize them to make them grow. He does that when he's on top of her, when they look like they're fighting." "But HOW does the rooster do that????" I knew it was going to get asked. "Boy roosters, just like boy skunks and boy people have private parts that are made to fit inside the girl private parts and they have a fluid that has the seeds for babies in it -- understand?" "Yes." Silence and complete end to the questions. I added one more thought: "When you become an adult you'll have what it takes to make babies, but it's a big responsibilty." "Is that why some families have like 21 kids, because they didn't be responsible?" I laughed, yes, that's why. It was like a huge weight lifted off his shoulders, and mine too, because I knew he'd been wondering how it works, and he's already been taught the technical words for his private parts, he just never had yet put two and two together when it comes to making babies. For now, his curiousity seems satisfied. Any further questions about the process are getting forwarded to his dad!

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