One of Herr Meow’s new favorite books is a wonderful "I can do it" style ditty by Eric Carle, of The Very Hungry Caterpillar fame –you know, if you roll wit da pre-skool crowd y’allz– that is called From Head To Toe.
Herr Meow lo-o-o-o-o-o-oooooves this book. He likes to chase the dada or the mama around all over the house so it can be read to him, and no cheap fast reading will do: we must wait for him to demonstrate that he, in fact, can turn his head like a penguin and thump his chest like a gorilla and arch his back like a cat.
He can also stomp his foot like an elephant and kick his legs like a donkey, but here is where we usually run into something nefarious which I am considering calling the "Washington Syndrome." Or not.
The donkey appears first on the book and he –naturally, like all donkeys lest they be born missing limbs or control thereof– can kick his legs. I am merely assuming that this donkey happens to be male because my brain still thinks in Spanish and for me it’s still el burro, the jack-ass or male donkey. This is not meant to be interpreted as dismissive of jennies (<–female donkeys, hee) in any way or form. Except, you know, in pointing out that if your name is Jenny you should steer clear of any donkey references and never consider marrying someone with a last name of "Bray" for instance.
But, as usual, I digress.
Whenever the donkey appears doing his kung-fu kick, Herr Meow is filled with joy and repeats "Donk! Donk! Donk! Donk!" as he kicks and stomps his feet. Incidentally, we’re considering going to see Shrek The Third just because he has this delusional love for "Donk! Donk!" Donk"!
But then the page turns and we’re introduced to the elephant, who stomps its feet.
Herr Meow, even before the sentence is over, frantically starts to do some complex flamenco moves and stomps all over the place just as gleefully as he kicks his feet for the donkey, all the while STILL saying, "DONK! DONK! DONK! DONK!" with even more brio than before.
We’ve tried to set his confusion straight. "No baby, that’s not a "donk"– it’s an "elephant"! Un "elefante"! Can you say "elefante"?
He pays no attention whatsoever –the word "elephant" seemingly dead to him– and continues his Soleá del Donk.
You could argue simply that because both the elephant and the donkey are quadrupeds and depicted in shades of gray, the baby gets them confused due to the fact that he is still a baby and has met neither animal in person.
You could, but how dare you?
Because the truth is that his refusal to acknowledge the elephantineness of the elephant while instead rejoicing even more deeply in the "donk-ness" of said elephant is nothing but a political metaphor for our times, wherein we shun the GOP with utter and patent disgust –sometimes exulting in our rejection– and embracing the Dems while forgetting that it is the fact that at the very core they are one and the same that makes most politics pointless and a waste of time in the first place.
You may say that the Democratic party is different from the Republican party because of their labels, but in the end they are both large, gray, and all they do is kick and stomp all over the country (possibly causing much delight in the two-year and under group, but you cannot be too sure).
Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, people. And please remember on Memorial Day– don’t just stuff your faces and have fun now.
I say just let him do what he’s doing to do. He’ll get it all figured out eventually, until then, let the elephants kick like donkeys.