Like all parents with a four-year old I get bombarded with questions. I do my best to provide answers. The experience reminds me of three puzzles of my own childhood, which over time resolved themselves:
1. With, I think, Blue Peter's encouragement we collected milk bottle tops for the blind. I imagined they were used to make special glasses (this may be quite a common misconception - they were, in fact, recycled for money). In a parallel development, birds, such as tits and finches, had started to peck the tops of milk bottles whilst they sat on your doorstep in order to drink the cream. My question was: isn't it dangerous to give blind people glasses that birds will want to peck through in search of cream?
2. The Lord's Prayer contains the request to 'deliver us from evil'. I mondegreen'd it into 'deliver us from the eagle'. I had a vision of a raptor sitting on a gate-post eyeing me beadily. My question was: why does God employ eagles to punish us for our sins?
3. The everyday miracle of Fray Bentos Steak and Kidney pie bothered me. My question was: how is it possible that a pie - something whose very nature involves dryish crustiness - can be produced from a can, a receptacle whose contents are invariably moist and soggy?
I'm not sure why I never cleared these puzzles up through some questioning. Perhaps I thought asking might make me seem naive and that the answer would emerge in good time? I suppose I was right. I wonder what unspoken questions keep my little boy up at night?
For younger readers: this is what milk bottles used to look like. They were delivered to your doorstep daily in the early morning by a person known as a 'milkman' who was transported in a vehicle known as a 'milk float' (so-called as it was a form of hovercraft).