Monday, February 17, 2014

"What Is It?"

We have a new favorite game:  guess the animal.

It's like 20-questions, but we don't limit it to yes-no answers.

Sounds basic, except we allow "mythical creatures," which we've defined as any animal-like critter not just from classical or world mythology but any book we've read or movie we've seen.  Which includes Harry Potter, Star Wars, "Pokemon", How to Train Your Dragon, Percy Jackson, etc.

It's wonderfully fun and sometimes quite challenging.  Especially because Bud has read some books we haven't and comes up with critters we don't all know.  Like kelpie, which I know as an Irish mer-like creature (a la Secret of Roan Inish), but not as the water-horse-thing he described.

With all this focus on the unusual, I've stumped them with barnyard creatures!  It took them forever to guess cow and horse last week.

We're pretty creative with questions (plus the more expected fur vs. skin vs. scales vs. feathers):

  • bigger or smaller than you?
  • have you seen a real one?
  • paws or feet or hooves?
  • two legs or four?  (Sis likes to ask if it's only four legs in the morning, a la Oedipus and the Sphinx!)
  • is it a composite, made up of lots of critters?
  • can it speak or understand English?  (for those mythical creatures, like the mice in Cinderella!)

And Bud has started asking outright, "What is it?"--and I've almost been fooled into answering him!

On the way home from Boston, we limited it to animals that we encountered--alive-or in another way--during our weekend.  For two hours, plus dinner, we played, insisting that we guess not only the animal but the location.  We had: the unicorn (crest at the State House), the mouse (in the hands-on game at the State House), a cat (Dusty, a real cat, at the bookstore), ducks (the statue in Boston Common), a horse (horse-drawn carriage in the Common), a deer (crest in the lobby of the Parker House), frogs (statue near Frog Pond ice rink), a grasshopper (huge sculpture at science museum), butterflies (real, also science museum), a goat (play stuffed one at the Constitution museum), Adipose (the white fatty creature from Doctor Who, at the comics store in Quincy Market!), to name but a few.

Not something obvious like the penguins at the aquarium, though!




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