Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Pet Hammerhead Shark: Fort Lauderdale 1997

First Daughter always loved animals. Sure, she liked cats and dogs (she still does like cats, dogs not so much), but she really loved elephants and giraffes when she was young. She also liked things like anteaters, bats, lizards, armadillos, tapirs, and other creatures. But all of this was mainly when she was very young, when we lived in Illinois.
We moved to Florida and she started school and then there were other interests--friends and cartoons, music, Pokemon. She still liked animals and was interested in them, but the pull of them was less so. So, a year after our move, when we bought our house after renting one in Victoria Park for a year, I was a little surprised when she started going on about hammerhead sharks.
She really really liked hammerheads. We took her and Second Daughter to the Museum of Science and Discovery and there they had a bonnethead shark--very similar to a hammerhead but much smaller--and that fascinated her. At some point she asked if she could have a pet hammerhead. I said, "Sure. I'll build an aquarium in the back yard." Of course I was joking.
I guess the point of this memory is that I was very surprised to find that she had taken me seriously. She really expected me to build the aquarium and get her a hammerhead shark. I had thought the she knew I was being fatuous in my comment (she even knew the word facetious, she knew by then my sense of humor and irony), she was six or seven and so I had assumed she would not conceive of the idea that we could have a 100 to 1000lb shark as a pet. But it turns out that I was the one who was wrong.
She took the news well that she would not be getting a pet hammerhead. I explained the impossibility of it and she understood. No biggie. But then, for her birthday, I surprised her and got one!
Not really. Just being facetious.

No comments: