"Did you know there's such a thing as a liger? There really is, it's a mix between a lion and a tiger. It doesn't happen in the wild though, zookeepers and scientists have to--force the two animals to mate?" Big Kid offered up out of nowhere, on the drive home today. "I don't even really like to think about that--"
"What does it look like?" little kid interrupted, with enthusiasm and curiosity.
"I don't know! I don't want to know! You shouldn't want to know either, you're only 7 years old!!"
"...I think he's asking what a liger looks like," I clarified.
"Oh," Big Kid said with obvious relief, "Like a mix between a lion and a tiger."
Then I tried to explain artificial insemination in an attempt to ease Big Kid's worried mind, but I don't think that helped.
I was actually relieved when the conversation moved along to conjoined twins and the likelihood of surgical separation.
The big deal around these parts growing up was "Shasta" the Liger at our local zoo. The sad thing about this being a big deal is . . . Shasta wasn't actually alive. She (he?) was all taxidermied up after her untimely death years before I was even born. Still. A liger! Almost like . . . a unicorn.
You should have started talking about Napoleon Dynamite instead!
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