A Question of Rhinos

March 1, 2011 by Rieshy

I've been reading,  Who Wants A Cheap Rhinoceros, by Shel Silverstien to one child or another for about 17 years now. 

For the most part the reality of the book is accepted without question.  For instance, this page illicits a smile but besides an almost tangible yearning for a pet so wonderful, this picture is evidently believable. 

This page is also accepted in a matter of fact manner.  No questions asked. 

If you are in a hurry to finish the book to get a small personage into bed, it's best to skip this page entirely.  Never mind the page about the rhino plowing fields with his tusk, or assisting in donut making, this picture requires considerable clarification. 

However, the true crescendo of questions arise with this picture, and you best not skip answering them.   Evidently even the smallest of children understand physics enough to feel alarm at the smallness of the construction and the sharpness of nails.

What we accept, what we don't...

How do you explain things when the questions are all the wrong questions?

Do we ever ask the right questions?


Melanie said...

Wonderful! How is I've never read this book? Must go to the library TODAY!

Isn't in "I, Robot" that the dead guy says, "That's not the right question"?

Rieshy said...

I forgot about that in "I Robot"- Have you ever read "A Castle On A Hill" by Elizabeth Goudge? Very flowery writing (from the 1940's), it's not everybody's style- but boy does that book raise that question.

Unknown said...


Nancy said...

How did I get through parenting two children and never read this book? I must now own a copy! Stopped over because JoAnn @ Ostriches tweeted me. Proof positive that tweeting works.

Rieshy said...

It's a great book!

As far as tweeting- I__must__find__my__twitter__password.

Unknown said...

Seriously Susan. I am following you and I don't know why. You're so silent! :)

Kathleen@so much to say said...

Isn't that funny? I've never seen that book!

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