The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Cowardice in the playground

Two days ago, I saw something remarkable in its power to disturb.

Fintan, three, was in the playground and I was about fifteen to twenty metres away (it was a generously sized play area), near one of my other children. Fintan was standing by an area of low lying plants looking over them for reasons that were not clear to me, from where I was. There was a Singaporean boy behind him who looked to be ten to twelve years old. Were they playing?, I wondered.

Then the boy did something strange. He put his hands under Fintan's arms and tried to lift him. Comically, he failed, for Fintan, though only three, is very heavy: a solid boy indeed. Then he did something else - he tried to push him forward into the patch of plants in front of them. This, too, failed for the same reason of bodily mass and solidity. All this while I had been approaching them and now was close enough to speak:

"What do you think you are doing?" I asked him, not pleased at what I had seen.

He pointed into the patch of plants, where I could now see a football about one and a half metres into their midst.

"They are prickly..." he explained of the plants.

I was flabbergasted. This boy was trying to throw my three year old son into a patch of prickly plants to get his football back! I could barely believe what I had just heard. What a coward! His plan had only failed because of Fintan's unexpected mass.

"Why don't you get it yourself?" I asked rather sharply.

Something in him was shamed by my tone and he gingerly stepped forward into the prickly plants, trying to ensure that his shoes would step down on the offending prickles - and took the ball. He went off without saying a word to Fintan or myself.

I have seen many things in my life - but never have I seen a boy try to effect such a cowardly idea as that.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 6:44 AM 


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