When With-a-Why came home from school today, he dropped his backpack on the floor, went straight to the piano, and played furiously for about half an hour. I could tell that he was thinking about something, working it out in his head.
Finally, he came over to the couch. He is still young enough and small enough to sprawl all over my lap, cuddling into the big pillows.
"Know what animal I don't like the most?" he asked.
I tried to think. He's not afraid of dogs; he likes them. He likes snakes, turtles, frogs, and other marsh creatures. He likes cats. He is fascinated with horses. I tried to think of an animal he had had a negative encounter with, and I couldn't think of anything. I ended up taking some wild guesses. Wasps? Mice? Slime mold?
He shook his head and gave me the answer.
"Humans," he said.
It turns out he and Philosophical Boy were talking on the bus. About war. About people they knew in the military. Philosophical Boy has a cousin who has been to Iraq and back.
"Humans kill each other," said With-a-Why. He seemed astonished to discover this about his own species.
With-a-Why and Philosophical Boy both have logical minds, and I guess they could not find a reason for war. "Well, if two countries wanted a war," With-a-Why said, "they could just use a computer game. You could put in your weapons, the number of people you have, and all that, and even play the game if you wanted. And see who won."
He paused. "That would be pretty easy to do. There really isn't any reason why anyone needs to get killed."
Can't argue with that logic.