Yesterday was my day off. When I returned from my errands, on the dining room table, on a paper napkin over which was an apple with one bite taken out of it, Lawrence had written: "Bow took bite of this, spit it out and said it was bad. Do you think others?"
He was referring to all the other apples that had come in that bag. If this was a bad apple, were all the other apples bad? I felt of the apple, and it was hard and unyielding. There was no indication to me that it was rotten. The only reason the part Bow had taken a bite of was brown was because of the normal oxidation process.
I went to the pen to ask Lawrence about it. Lawrence said he had asked Bow why he thought the apple was bad, but Bow, who is not good at answering questions that start with "why" had merely answered: "Because it is bad."
In the evening I made my own investigation. I cut open the apple, tried to remove the oxidated spots and bit into it. The apple tasted fine. I then took it into the pen with Bow, along with the napkin, to begin an inquiry of my own.
"Bow, do you know what it says here?" I asked him, brandishing the napkin. "What does it say?" "?אתה יודע מה כתוב כאן? מה כתוב כאן"
I then read him the napkin, word for word. While I was reading it out loud to him, Bow followed along on the napkin, pointing at the appropriate words. He can read. But when I was done he looked away, as if totally uninterested in the issue that the napkin's words addressed.
"Is it bad? Look, I am eating now," I said and took a bite of the apple. "Is it bad?"
"?האם זה רע? תסתכל' אני אוכלת את זה עכשיו. האם זה רע"
Bow picked up the apple and started eating it. He finished the whole thing. There was no more talk about the apple being bad.
Mind you, this was one of a bag of red delicious apples, which are the least tasty of all the apples in the store. Even the Wikipedia says they don't taste so good.
But that's why they have the lowest price per pound from all the apples in the grocery store. Supply and demand. These are human grade apples, fit for eating. I eat them, too. I also let Bow have more expensive apples in moderation, but I can't have him turning up his nose on the red delicious as long as we are on a budget.
I think he understands. And, yes, he can read!