Hamburger Booby Trap
"Daddy, where do Lifesavers come from?" Heather, aged four, was sitting in the front seat holding a roll of them.
"Shush." Her father put his finger to his lips. "We have to whisper." He pointed to the back seat.
His wife and his two year old son were both sleeping. The young family was on the second leg of the 26 hour drive from New York to Orlando, Florida, the home of DisneyWorld.
"So where do Lifesavers come from?"
It was precious to hear her whisper. He looked over and wondered, how did I get so lucky. No, he corrected himself, I'm just thinking like every father. I don't care, he double corrected himself. This is one special little person with those believing brown eyes.
"Candy is made from sugar cane, Heather."
"What does sugar cane look like?"
"It looks like tall corn stalks."
They continued playing 'Stump the Daddy'.
"And where does bread come from?" There was a McDonald's bag on the floor, an uneaten hamburger roll peeking out. They ate lunch while they drove to save time.
"Bread comes from wheat. It looks a little like tall grass, only it's brown."
"And where do hamburgers come from?"
"Hamburgers come from cows."
Her father added a twist to the game. Somewhere in his stream of good answers he would sprinkle a false one – a booby trap. If his daughter found the booby trap, she could ask more questions. If she missed it, she had to stop.
"No, that was not a booby trap. Hamburgers come from cows, like those cows out there." He pointed to a herd grazing in a field by the interstate.
"No, you're fooling! Booby trap!"
"No, Daddy is not fooling. Where do you think hamburgers come from?"
"Where do you think McDonald's gets them?"
"From farmers who grow them?" She wasn't so sure now.
"No – well, yes, the farmers do grow them, but they're not vegetables. There are no hamburger plants. Hamburger is meat, and comes from cows."
"How does it come from cows?"
"Well, when the cows get big enough, the farmer sends them to a processor."
"And then what?"
Oh boy, he thought. How do I explain this one?
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© Copyright 2012 by Zalman Velvel Inc.
You may print this story for yourself, but not make copies without author's permission.