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 +

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Fintan spots a dinosaur

Fintan, three, has long wanted to see a dinosaur. I think this is an extension of his interest in animals. He has carefully surveyed his world but sees no overt signs of them. About six months ago, however, something very strange happened.

It was a Sunday. My wife had gone out with the other kids, leaving me with Fintan. To keep him interested I promised to take him to see where the dinosaurs were. This quite appealed to him and he soon readied himself for some dinosaur watching.

He sat in his pram, legs dangling over the side, for it would be far too far to walk at that age - or at least I had thought so.

We were to go to a wooded area near us: a kind of preserve, into which I intended to push the pram, if I could find the elusive entrance. All along the journey from our home to our destination, there were trees and vegetation at the roadside.

To keep up his interest, I asked him to look out for the dinosaurs in the woods - and he peered with great care into their midst. This stance went on for some minutes as we approached our goal.

Suddenly, in a moment of pure childhood magic, a giant green lizard came rushing out of the vegetation in front of us. It was quite the biggest lizard I had seen in Singapore. I couldn't identify its breed - but it really was at least a couple of feet long and quite bulky. I don't think it was a "Komodo Dragon" - for I have seen those in Malaysia - but it was impressive. It was green, tough looking - and dinosaurian.

Fintan's eyes were agog. Before him was a "dinosaur"...

"Look Fintan! It is a baby dinosaur!"

He was speechless. The "dinosaur" ran ahead of us for about ten metres then ducked back into the vegetation, having decided that it didn't want to be on the road.

Fintan craned to see where it had gone and only relaxed when it was clear that it was no longer to be seen.

The trip was a great success. In the most unlikely of ways, Fintan had come to see the "dinosaur" that Daddy had promised him. Never had I expected to fulfil the requirements of the day...but I had.

That evening, Fintan enthused about the "baby dinosaur" he had seen, to his mother, telling how big it had been - and how it had suddenly jumped out in front of him.

What a magical day.

(If you would like to read more about Fintan, three, or his gifted brothers, Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and four months, or Tiarnan, aged fourteen months, then please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted children and gifted adults in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 12:08 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...


- Kathy

12:00 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I doubt I will be able to top this moment in all his childhood - imagine promising a dinosaur to a kid - and then delivering!

Best wishes

5:30 PM  

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