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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bow and the Missouri Conservationist

Bow loves leafing through magazines. Usually, he does not seem to be reading them intently, but he likes to look at the pictures. For instance, just last week he got a new issue of Harper's Bazaar and enjoyed looking at all the new fashion choices.

But last Wednesday a friend of his, who comes by and brings him bananas every week, brought him a few issues of the Missouri Conservationist, and that is a completely different kind of magazine.

Bow can be very boisterous and exuberant, and sometimes when is in the midst of a dominance display, this can seem very uncivilized to humans who observe him. But Bow also has his quiet, focused moments. He took a lot of time with these magazines, and he was very gentle with them. He would pause for moments at a time, looking at a page and thinking about it.

Some of the headings of these articles use letters in  large typeface, and they feature very familiar-looking words.

What do you suppose Bow was thinking to himself when he came across this heading: BOW FISHING ? Did he think it was about him? He stared at the man in the picture for a long time.

Or how about this easy-to-read caption: BIRDS ARE AWESOME.

I don't use words like "awesome" very much, but Bow is familiar with them, because the interns who volunteered with Bow used to pepper their speech with that word. "It's awesome that he used his words with a stranger!" Sara can be overheard saying to Allie in one of our earlier Project Bow DVDs. So Bow is familiar with these words, and this may be writing at just the right level of simplicity to capture his attention on the page.

Bow can read, but that does not mean that he will sit down and read a book cover to cover or even a page in a magazine in proper sequence. On the other hand, he recognizes words and phrases very easily. The Missouri Conservationist is full of beautiful images of many plants and animals. Bow took it all in, but he paused the longest on the images of human beings accompanied by familiar words.

The picture above, of boys and girls shooting at targets using bows and arrows, had him pause for much longer than any other image. He likes people. He likes children. And he likes  the word "bow"!


  1. thank you for sharing this gift

  2. I love to look at the Missouri Conservationist! The pictures are awesome, but the last few years, they've been geared towards hunting and while, I don't care if people hunt, I'm just not that interested in it myself. BUT, I keep the pictures where you have to guess what the main subject is. Does Bow ask what "bows and arrows" are?

    1. Hi, Kathy, I'm not that interested in hunting, either, but oddly it's the hunting and fishing pictures Bow found most interesting, probably because there were people in them. Bow has seen videos of aboriginal people hunting with a bow and arrow, so I'm pretty sure he knows what they are. But no, he's never asked me. Of course, he's named for a bow, and I sing him a song every night that has the Hebrew word for bow in it, and he always looks most interested when he hears that word, as if, of course, the song is about him. The line goes something like this: "the arrow has returned to the bow, and the pomegranate has returned to the top of the tree."