Friday, September 21, 2012

A Tropical Childhood

I was kind of surprised last night when Eliot offhandedly mentioned she had been told to not drink from the water fountain outside the girls' bathroom at school because there may be a tiny cobra in there. "We have to use the boys' one...just in case." Huh?!
This from the girl who is afraid of ants.
I'm thinking she's not clear on what a cobra is. I'm also thinking I don't want to be the one who tells her.
It seems fitting somehow that I am reading Alexandra Fuller's memoir about her African childhood. Maybe Eliot will one day write her memoir about growing up on the tropical island of Singapore.
Eliot is scared of crocodiles. I feel kind of guilty about that. When she was about five one of her bedtime stories was The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl (her request). It's a children's story but the illustrations of a crocodile disguising himself as a park bench or a see saw for unsuspecting children is amusing in a disturbing way. That reading choice made over two years ago may be the reason she still occasionally comes into my bed at 2 am reasoning: "I know crocodiles are in swamps but they could still crawl to our house because they do like children." Can't blame anybody but myself.


  1. I read this story to my kid as well-actually it is pretty scary!

  2. Very tersely and interestingly written. Bravo.

  3. I am just now imagining the reaction of my friends back in the States if their children were told there might be a cobra in a school water fountain! Eeeek!

    1. I can believe it-my own reaction was bordering on disbelief!

    2. Came across this site by chance having written my own story of growing up in the tropics of Trinidad in WW2 1939 - on. My mother during those long ago days collected snakes and shot big boas too. The smaller ones she kept in tubes in spirits of some sort, in the dining room sideboard. I put this on wordpress a couple of months ago and called it 'A tropical Childhood' this by pure chance. Mine is not so well put together as this one but it has attracted some attention. Enjoying this one as it is so well put together. Congratulations to you. Regards