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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cherries Revisited: Not a Liar

We still have cherries. Last night I picked some more. Our first tree was almost out, all except in very high, hard to reach places, and there were ants mounting an expedition to the very tree top. Nothing in nature goes to waste, because there is always someone willing to make use of it. The first tree had big, fleshy dark red cherries with a sweet aftertaste. But the second tree that is now ripening has smaller, lighter red cherries that are tart going in, but leave a slight bitter aftertaste. I know nothing about the origin of these trees, and I have done nothing to cultivate them. They came with the ten acres I bought, and I count them as a bonus, unearned and completely gratuitous. Some years there is no fruit because a late frost gets the blooms. Other years are bountiful. As long as we don't count on having it, the fruit feels like a gift from nature.

This morning Bow had his grapes, and then he asked for cherries. We proceeded with our counting game: one cherry, one pit. But Bow doesn't like the second kind of cherries nearly as much as the first, and in the middle of our game, he got up, took my hand and spelled in Hebrew: "Not a liar."

"You're not a liar?" I asked.

"Yes," he spelled. It was true, the counts tallied. For every cherry he ate, he had given me a pit. But the bowl was still half full of bright, light red cherries.

"Don't you want any more?"

"No."

"Well, what do you want?"

"Milk."

I gave him the milk.

Bow understands everything. He knew that unless the number of pits to cherries tallied, he wouldn't get any milk. He also knew why I care about this: because I want him honest, not because I need those pits. So that's why, when he didn't want to finish his cherries, he observed that he was not a liar.

Now, this doesn't establish that he's not a liar. It does, however, show a remarkable grasp of the situation!

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