Saturday, February 18, 2006
This afternoon, I went with my wife and daughter to Edinburgh's Royal Museum. There were, I thought, three attractions to keep my daughter interested (she is not far off 4-years-old) - tropical fish swimming in a pool, butterflies under glass cabinets, and stuffed animals of every imaginable variety.
Well, she liked the fish. She liked the butterflies for about 30 seconds. But she hated the stuffed animals. She couldn't get away from them quick enough and announced that she wanted to go to the café and have something to eat.
This led me to wonder what the point of stuffed animals might be. They look creepy, frozen forever in one pose of perpetual semi-naturalness. They don't do anything. At least, what they do is to remind me of what they once were. And all this in a city that boasts the best zoo in Scotland, where people can see real animals doing real things.
I'm now asking myself why I thought my daughter would want to see stuffed animals. For some reason it's the kind of thing that 3-year-olds are supposed to like. But perhaps we do children a disservice by assuming that such an activity could interest them.