Flower Power: Small Children and Fictionalized Bulls Alike Can Teach Us That Goofing off Can Be a Noble Goal Indeed

By Daley, Michael | U.S. Catholic, June 2008 | Go to article overview

Flower Power: Small Children and Fictionalized Bulls Alike Can Teach Us That Goofing off Can Be a Noble Goal Indeed


Daley, Michael, U.S. Catholic


I smiled when I saw my daughter Cara pull the spring sports sign-up sheet out of her book bag. My thoughts immediately drifted back to last year, her first full year of competitive soccer.

My wife and I had only one rule for her: "Try your best. That's all we ask." Truth be told, we (at least I) wanted her to be a star. In the sports-obsessed culture that we live in, I wanted to glory in her scoring goals. I wanted her to "bend it like Beckham." I wanted to be able to play it cool when other parents asked, "Is that your daughter?" I wanted the team to frown when Cara wasn't there because they knew that without her there was no way they could win. Eventually, the better part of myself got hold of me and said, "Wake up. She's only 6!"

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Looking back, one scene really stood out from the previous season. It was a close match, with the other team up by a goal. Cara wasn't in the game at this point, but, since every one had to play an equal amount of time, I expected her to go in at any minute. Glancing at the sidelines, I saw that far from paying attention, she was goofing off with some of her teammates in the field behind her bench.

Embarrassed I got down from the stands. Making my way over to her side of the field, I stopped myself. Cara was making flower bouquets with her friends. I was taken aback by her playfulness at the edge of the woods. Thankfully the words that I wanted to say to her never came out of my mouth.

Reflecting on this scene later that evening, a classic story from my youth came to mind, The Story of Ferdinand. Written by Munro Leaf in 1936, I had recently rediscovered it at the high altar of children's furnishings, Pottery Barn Kids.

The book's initial reception is telling. In the late 1930s civil war-ridden Spain banned it. It was burned by fascists in Nazi Germany. Gandhi listed it as one of his favorites. America, depending on whose side you were on, saw it as either prompting communism or fascism. Over the subsequent years it has been heralded as a poster book for pacifism. The Story of Ferdinand is and is not all of these things.

The story takes place in Spain. There in a field, unlike the other little bulls that butted heads, Ferdinand liked to just sit quietly and smell the flowers. His mother, though concerned, saw that he was healthy and let him be.

Finally the day all the young bulls were waiting for arrived. Officials from Madrid were coming to pick the fiercest bull for the upcoming bullfights. While the other bulls were showing who was best, Ferdinand did as he had always done and sat in the shade of the cork tree. Except this time rather than smell the flowers, he sat on a bee. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Flower Power: Small Children and Fictionalized Bulls Alike Can Teach Us That Goofing off Can Be a Noble Goal Indeed
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.