Calico Cats and Chopper Birds

bakidwritingTrue homeschooling story about 9 years ago…

Nathaniel and I sat at the kitchen table doing our homeschooling for the day. I gave him the picture of a cat to colour. He said it was a calico cat. Okay… this could take a minute or two, depending on how detailed the markings would be. He carefully drew a brown circle around one eye with a small bar extending down the nose. And coloured it very carefully. Then he made a brown band around one front leg while telling me this story about how the leg had been put through a scanner and this whatever it was would help it heal. I rolled my eyes at his teenage sister, Vicki, and asked why I am blessed with such creative kids. Actually, I take that back. I’m glad my kids are creative!!

But I was getting fidgety and antsy with nothing to do but wait while his artistic masterpiece took shape. I sat down at my computer and read emails.

Fifteen minutes later his calico cat was finished… in brown, white, red, green and black, with amber eyes. Wow! It looked really nice. I told him it was a very pretty rainbow cat.

As he worked on his handwriting, I heard a faint tap tapping from the direction of the deck just outside the kitchen. I looked at Nathaniel and he looked at me, and he said, “That’s a chopper bird.”

“Oh. A chopper bird, eh?”

“Yeah, it has a big tail.” I think he meant the chopper bird was tapping with its tail. Why he would fabricate such a bird I don’t know, when he knows we have woodpeckers at our bird feeder.

Such is the logic of a six-year-old boy….

© Willena Flewelling


  1. Awww, what a lovely story. We call calico “tortoisehell” over here, so it wasn’t until I read rainbow cat I knew what he was drawing x
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    • That’s interesting, Sarah. I’ve heard it both ways, so just for curiosity I looked it up. Apparently “calico” means the black and orange form distinct patches, whereas “tortoiseshell”means the colours are blended. My mom always called it tortoiseshell.
      Willena Flewelling recently posted…The Broken AirplaneMy Profile

  2. Hi Willena. Came over here from Donna Merrill’s blog. She’s a good friend of mine.
    Cute story.
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  3. WoW! Nice articles.Thanks and carry on.
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