The Doctor is ecstatic. He has been asked to talk to Mrs. Asbell’s kindergarten class about us.
“Osprey Day” they call it, and the Doctor is a special guest.
I coached him to think like a kid, be like a kid, and by all means make it interesting for a kid.
“I will”, promised my significant other and best friend.
The classroom was chaotic and full of excitement. A respectful hush floated across the room as the Doctor entered.
“Boys and Girls this is……” Mrs. Asbell began, but no introduction was necessary.
“How old is Tweedy? Do you like her name? When will she fly? Does she like fish? Does Harriett snuggle with her? Can she read yet? What color are Tweedy’s eyes?”
“What color are Tweedy’s eyes?”
The Doctor thought about this for a moment.
“What color are Tweedy’s eyes”? Rhetorically, he repeated the question to himself out loud.
He was not sure how to answer this question and paused for a moment to collect his thoughts.
“What color are your eyes”? The Doctor began.
“Blue, green, brown”, rebounded a chorus of responses.
“And what color do you think Tweedy’s eyes are”? The doctor continued with confidence.
“Blue, green, red, purple, yellow, orange, black, brown, pink, magenta!”
Did a five year old human just say “magenta”? He thought to himself.
“Well…..continued the Doctor, eye color in the osprey is a very interesting subject”.
The children hung on every word.
Elated and emboldened the Doctor began as he slipped into a semi-hypnoptic state.
“Eye color is a polygenic phenotypic character determined by two distinct factors: the pigmentation of the eye’s iris and the frequency-dependence of the scattering of light by the turbid medium in the stroma of the iris”.
“What”? Said little Jimmy.
“The brightly colored eyes of many bird species result from the presence of other pigments, such as pteridines, purines, and carotenoids”, continured the Doctor happily.
Little Jeanie saw a cardinal out the classroom window. She pointed it out to Jimmy.
“Humans and other animals have many phenotypic variations in eye color. The genetics of eye color are complicated, and color is determined by multiple genes. So far, as many as 15 genes have been associated with eye color inheritance”, continued my oblivious soul mate.
Dumbfounded and disappointed the children stared at the Doctor in disbelief.
My man drooled on……….
“Some of the eye-color genes include OCA2 and HERC2. The once-held view that blue eye color is a simple recessive trait has been shown to be incorrect. The genetics of eye color are so complex that almost any parent-child combination of eye colors can occur. However, OCA2 gene polymorphism, close to proximal 5′ regulatory region, explains most human eye-color variation”.
“This is boring”! Cried out a pretty little girl named Molly. “Really, really boring”.
Mrs. Asbell looked distraught.
I tried frantically to get through to him, but he was so self-absorbed in his new role as Kindergarten teacher he would not respond.
Finally Mrs. Asbell announced, “bathroom break”.
A flurry of activity erupted and suddenly the classroom was quiet.
Mrs. Asbell did not know what to say, but just then I got through to him.
What the #$%! Are you doing!
“Think like a child! Talk like a child! Act like a child! You dumb #*%*!”!
The Doctor’s attention had been caught.
“Wow, I’ve never felt Harriett so upset. Maybe I should turn down the sensitivity on my telepathy”.
Bathroom break was over.
“Where is the Doctor?” A convergence of thought created by the children inquired.
Nowhere is he to be seen.
Mrs. Asbell zipped up little Mark’s pants. At least he did not need to be wiped anymore, and kidergarten continued as though there had been no disruption. Little Molly was about to discuss various Princesses from the 13th century when the Doctor reentered the classrom dressed like this:
“Now let’s get serious”, said he.
In many birds of prey, the eye color changes as the bird matures and can serve as a means of determining an individual’s age. Adult ospreys have brilliant yellow eyes, but they are not born with this color eye. The osprey’s eye color changes from blood red in nestlings to orange-yellow in juveniles to yellow in adults.
Ospreys, when they hatch, have dark blue eyes. After a few days, the eye color starts to change to a deep reddish-orange color and they then remain like this for their migration to South America. When ospreys return north to breed at the age of two or three however, the eyes are suddenly a bright yellow color!
Now for your test:
I will show you pictures of an osprey. You tell me if it is a baby or a teenager or an adult.
End of test
There was a powerful flapping sound from out side the school house window. The children ran for cover.
Look what just flew in the window!
The Doctor awoke with a start.
This whole episode has been a dream. Everyone knows school is out for the summer.
Whew! “Thought the Doctor. No embarrassment to carry”.
“Did I really give Harriett a bracelet? I hope she doesn’t read anything into it”.