"i have three fish," he said. "a black one, a gold one, and a blue one."
"oh," i said. "what are their names." because, you know, just like the color of the car is the important thing about any vehicle, your pet's name is all i care about.
"well," he said, "the black one is named blackie, and the gold one is named goldie, and the blue one is named kevin."
blackie, goldie, and kevin?!?!?
names are important, even pet names (at least to me.) when rollie and i got our first dog, i thought she was never going to have a name. we just couldn't decide. and then one day i was driving to work and barry manilow's voice came out of my radio with the perfect name for her . . .
and oh my goodness, you should see what we went through choosing a name for our child! i was seriously afraid she was going to be sent home with a birth certificate that said "baby girl ******." (occasionally when i am blogging i think about security and how much information i put on the world wide web, and then i think maybe i should be more careful--thus asterisks instead of a last name. this time.) but the good thing was that after diandra was born, we were free to use all the other good names for our pets.
i tend to prefer people names for my pets--except for milo. i call him bubba. maybe because we let diandra name him, which meant i didn't have any input. i like to have input. (actually, i just like people to do what i want them to do, but sometimes it doesn't happen that way . . . ) diandra, however, apparently does not prefer people names for her pets--except for milo.
she has had these two turtles for a couple of months. she didn't know what to call them, so she posted them on her blog and let people make suggestions. as a result, i thought there were some very cute ideas for names. but she ended up choosing her own--they are named chicken and pig. yes, turtles named chicken and pig. pig eats all the food and is not above stealing. pig will even take food out of diandra's hand--so far without taking any of her hand with it! chicken is afraid--afraid of pig, afraid of diandra, afraid of anyone who walks into the office, and even a little bit afraid of the food, i think.
when ms. martha bought birds for her classroom, she let her students name them--she wanted the whole classroom pet thing to be a learning experience and choosing names was part of that experience. (ms. martha is young and idealistic--she will learn :-) so what names do those poor birds have to live with for the rest of their lives? flickie and ping. apparently they had just read the story about ping, although in the book ping is a duck. i'm not sure how they came up with the name flickie. martha even asked me, "how do we spell it?!?" yeah, because it isn't a real word! and sometimes they said flickie, but sometimes they said fleecky. this is why i do not let my students name the pets.
although, usually the kids do have input. i always let them suggest names, and then i choose one. the fish didn't get named right away, because he came into our classroom at a busy time. i guess i could have just named him fred or something, but i didn't have time to think about it. then one day megan said, "i'm going to call our fish scott." i was pretty sure his name was not going be scott. "well megan," i said, "i'm not sure that is the best name for him. what if we get a new student and his name is scott--wouldn't that be confusing? if i said it was time to feed scott, you wouldn't know if i was talking about the boy or the fish." she thought for a minute and then said, "ok, i'll just call him scott until he gets another name."
every day the kids would come up with choices, but nothing seemed just right--until the afternoon when they were just coming up with a bunch of goofy ideas. one of them would make a suggestion, and then they would all laugh. they were having a good time. and while i was aware of this going on, i wasn't really listening. until i heard the perfect name. i knew it was perfect, because it made me laugh.
so now he has a name. we call him sushi :-)
megan, however, still calls him scott.