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 +

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bravery and the young.

This evening I saw something unexpected on my estate.

As I wandered down to the shops, I noted, in the dark, an object in the road with three security guards standing about two to three metres from it.

At first, I thought that the darkness that I saw, on the road, was a part of a car and surmised that a crash had occurred. As my eyes adjusted, somewhat, to the gloom, I saw something else: a small "bin" with an attached lid, laying down on the floor. About half a metre away was a snake.

A snake? On my estate? Oh dear...

I carried on with my shopping trip, as the three chattering men waited, rather naively I thought, for the snake to oblige them by crawling into the bin. To aid it on its way, one of them shone a torch on it, perhaps hoping that it would flee from the light, into the darkness of the bin.

Half an hour later, I returned from my shopping to find a much larger crowd gathered than before. In addition to the three security guards, there were about four estate residents including a couple of "aunties" and a teenage boy.

One of the guards now had a snake catching device. It was a pole of unwieldy length - about four or five metres by the look of it. At the end of it, was a loop of wire, which the guard was trying to place around the snake's body. He wasn't having much success. Time after time he moved the loop across the snake, and each time he failed to hook it.

The teenage boy looked at the efforts of the adults with some curiosity and seemingly an opinion of his own. After a couple of more minutes watching the guard trying to catch the snake, the boy stepped forward, suddenly, towards the slippery one, reached out with his right hand, picked it up by the tail and dropped it, head first, into the bin.

Interestingly, the guards were not heard to either applaud or thank him -perhaps they felt a little embarrassed at the teenage boy's rather deft solution, given their ineffective half hour of deliberations (or more, for I only noted them after they had been standing watching the snake for a time unknown).

It was a characterful moment, to see the boy act so. However, I do wonder if this spirit of courage in him, might not lead him to harm one day. I hope he evaluates situations carefully before acting so bravely, each time, he feels called to do so.

I must say, however, that his decisiveness was impressive to watch! Well done to the boy, in question (he looked about 16 to 18).

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 10:30 PM 


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