Friday, September 27, 2013

I Have a Little Shadow

Last weekend we collected sticks to build a sun dial, this week they outlined their shadows with chalk and last night Kate spent over an hour charting the various lengths of shadows during the course of a day. Science class, a new addition to their fourth grade curriculum, is casting a big shadow over homework, to the delight of my budding heliologists.

"Kate, you should offer to share the shadow poem with your class."

The head, inches from the table, slowly rose, "Mom, I get that you are a librarian, I appreciate that you are a librarian, but this is science class. We don't have poems in science class", and the head fell right back to the paper.

"Kate, I appreciate that you are nine, I get it, but it's nice to cross from one subject to the next, you know they really all work together".

She looked up, "Mom. There is no hypothesis, there are no conclusions, there is no data in that poem. I know you love the shadow poem but I am not offering to share that with my science class".

My little shadow is growing up but there's still so much learning to do.

My Shadow
by Robert Louis Stevenson

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

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