Friday, July 18, 2008

Zippy & Zappy or Mi & Mo

Unschoolers like to seize the moment when it comes to learning. That is just what I did this morning. As I was sitting in my living room I noticed two flies buzzing around in an empty rootbeer bottle. Spying the lid nearby I grabbed it and screwed it on, tightly sealing the flies in their plastic tomb. I hate flies in my house.

As I watched the two flies buzzing around in the bottle, I felt inspired to call the younger kids over to check out my capture.
"Come on over and see Mi and Mo!"
Eric was immediately enthralled and wanted to know why I called the flies "Mi and "Mo". No reason, it just seemed like a good idea.
After a few minutes of watching the flies he said, "You can call them that, but can I change my fly's name?"
"Sure" I replied.
"My fly's name is Zappy. Cassie, you can name your fly."
"Which one is mine?" she asked peering at the two identical flies.
After deciding that the one wallowing in the rootbeer dredges was hers, and still not able to come up with a name, I suggested "Zippy" and Cassie immediately agreed.
"They are kind of like twins, you know," she said.

For the next ten minutes a discussion ensued about how to take care of flies, what they eat, etc. Eric ran to get a kitchen knife so that I could poke holes in the bottle, but I convinced him a needle would work better. After a sufficient number of air holes were made, the two children sat down to watch their flies and to discuss their food issues.

"What do flies eat?"
"Sugar water. That is why they are in the bottle. They were attracted to the leftover rootbeer."
"What happens when they run out of rootbeer?"
"I bet that rootbeer will last them a long time, but if they run out we can add some sugar water."
"How do you make sugar water?"
"Take some sugar and mix in a bit of water until it dissolves."

It was then time to get ready to go out for the day. Eric was very concerned for his flies so before leaving asked me if he could write a note for his older sister.
Here is what the note said:

Take care of my flys
1. Dont throw my flys out
2. Don't drain their root beer
3. If thay run out of rootbeer add sugar water four half a teaspoon of it.

Two flies were drawn at the bottom of the note. I'll have to scan them and attach later.


Donna said...

While I think flies are quite annoying, that was just too cute.

How long do you think flies will live in captivity? I'd hate for them to be upset when they go to fly heaven : )

unschoolermom said...

Reminds me of a book Taliesin and Nathanael have called Who is Rootbeer? I hope they continue to have fun observing their new pets. :^)


Colleen said...

Zippy eventually succumbed to captivity (I think he drowned in the rootbeer dredges) and so Zappy was let go. For the next few days afterwards, Eric would say "don't kill that fly, it might by Zappy!" LOL.