3.24.2009

kids (and artists) say the darndest things about elephants ...

so, for my third graders this week, i'm reading ballet of the elephants by leda schubert. it's about john ringling north asking george balanchine to choreograph a ballet for 50 elephants in 1942. balanchine asks igor stravinsky to compose the music and, voila, circus polka is written. no, seriously, it's a true story.

as i read the book i tell the kids that my favorite conversation of the day occurred between balanchine and stravinsky:

balanchine: "i wonder if you'd like to do a little ballet with me."
stravinsky: "for whom?"
balanchine: "for some elephants."
stravinsky: "how old?"
balanchine: "very young."
stravinsky: "all right. if they are very young elephants, i will do it."

seems sort of odd and random, doesn't it?

but i was mistaken about that conversation being the best of the day. turns out the best one happens after i finish reading. i'm showing the kids a photo in the back of the book of the 50 elephants performing the ballet; they're in tutus (yes, even the bulls) and have their front legs on the elephant in front of them all in a large circle around the circus ring. one of the boys raises his hand and asks, "are they humping?" i unsuccessfully suppress my laughter and tell him, "no -- weren't you listening? they're dancing!" and then, not a second later, another boy raises his hand and asks, "are they getting ready for war?" wtf?? "no! they're dancing!"

ah, boys ... only sex and fighting on their minds.

2 comments:

Krimey said...

that's hilarious yucaree!

so what'd they say when you said wtf????? :))

Steliza said...

oh my goodness! Sort of proves the whole venus and mars theories about genders.