b Papa Dog's Blog: Rain, I Don't Mind

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Rain, I Don't Mind

It’s raining today, which I suppose is to some people cause for dismay. Me, I’m right chuffed. It’s been so long since it rained that I’d have to look through the faversham archives to figure out when it was. As long as it’s been since it rained, though, it’s been longer since I shined my shoes, and I’m happy they’re finally getting cleaned, if only by precipitation. Kind of like getting a free car wash. In fact, it’s been a long time since Mama Dog went to the car wash too, so double bully for us, what?

I was also pleased to see the rain this morning because it gave me a chance to acquaint Baby Dog with the phenomenon. She’s seen rain before, but she was awfully tiny at the time, and pre-verbal. I took her out on the back steps during a light shower. The drops fell on her face and she didn’t like it, so we went back inside. Since then, she’s gained a little theoretical knowledge, a little book-learnin’, about rain. The subject is raised most memorably in Dr. Seuss’ Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?. One of the wonderful sounds Mr. Brown can do is the sound of rain, which he evokes by saying “Dibble dibble dopp dopp dopp.” Baby Dog made clear signs of enjoying that little bit of onomatopoeia but little comprehension of what it was meant to evoke. Rain also shows up in What a Pig and various other books. I started making a point of embellishing the text of these other books with a little “dibble dibble dopp” at the appropriate place. Gradually, she came to understand that I was indicating the sound of rain and, I hoped, that the little blue spots drawn on these pages represented said rain. Whether she had any clue what the rain was remained uncertain. I also demonstrated a little in the bath. I’d pour little bits of water from a cup and say, “See? Dibble dibble dopp!” I think she got it. This morning, before I put her in her daycare clothes, I told her several times that it was raining and that we would go and look at the rain. I took her out to the front steps and said “See? Rain! Dibble dibble dopp!” I showed her how to hold her hand out, palm up, to feel the rain. She followed my example and looked up to see where the water was coming from. “Rain!” she said. By George, I do believe she’s got it.

Tangentially…I was thinking about Mr. Brown today on the way to work in the rain. Do you know the story? It’ll all about how Mr. Brown can make sounds. He can sound like a cow; he can go “Moo moo!” A curious thing happens midway through the book, though; after observing that Mr. Brown can sound like a cow, a bee, a cork, horse feet, a clock, a hand on the door, and the rain, there’s a sudden shift of gears. See if you can spot it. It goes like this: “Boom! Boom! Boom! Mr. Brown is a wonder! Boom! Boom! Boom! Mr. Brown makes thunder! He makes lightning, Splatt! Splatt! Splatt!” Do you see? He doesn’t sound like thunder and lighting; he makes it. Up until then, Mr. Brown seemed like just a charming eccentric. Now suddenly he’s a weather god, kind of like Elmer Fudd in What’s Opera, Doc.


Blogger Brownstein said...

Seems to me there's an interesting short story (remember those?) in your Mr. Brown observation. A normal salaryman possesses a talent for mimickry and through a turn of mystical realism achieves a mastery over what he's mimicking. Something like, what if Willy Loman became aware of the fact that he was actually Thor.

Maybe not.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

That is one of our best buddy books here - my 6 year old reads that to Tyler ALL THE TIME.

1:38 PM  

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