The Chinese Calendar: Narration After Watching TV


Narration After Watching a TV Show

 My daughter Caitrin (8) trotted into our living room after dinner. She plopped down on the opposite  sofa and asked, “Do you know how the Chinese got the animal names for their years?”

“No.” (Sitting up quickly and rearranging ourselves to be better listeners.)

“Well, wait a minute. Does ‘myth’ mean not true?”

“Yes, generally… but it can also….”

She cut me off (I was about to launch into “theological definition mode” and fortunately she caught me  in the nick of time).

“Okay, well good. Anyway… There was a great emperor in China and he had many animals. And just as  in many other stories, these animals can talk…”

She then proceeded to narrate cogently (isn’t that a great word?) the complete story, including wonderful  descriptors like “cleverly” and “wisely.”

By the end, Jon and I were slack-jawed. “Caitrin, where did you learn this story? I’ve never heard it,” I  winced.

She smiled. “Sagwa.”

We knit our eyebrows.

“You know, Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat. It’s on PBS.”

We cracked up. This is far from the first time that she has perfectly narrated a story from a TV show she’s  watched.

I had never known that the rat was such a trickster… the way he pretended to be drowned so the ox would… Oh, whoops. Don’t want to ruin the story for you. You’ll just have to find that episode and record it with your DVR so you can learn the tale of the Chinese Calendar too.


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