Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Turnips again

Although she knew the Mommy would be home soon, Peep missed her a lot today. The Mommy was someone you could count on. She fed you, teased you, scratched your head and sang to you. The Daddy did these things too, but it wasn’t the same coming from him. Peep sighed, and worried that Mommy would go away again to grow turnips. She still didn’t understand this turnip thing. Was Mommy growing turnips? And what did turnips have to do with math? She knew the Mommy was doing math down in Virginia – she’d told her that when she came home for those few days. I doubt she’s just counting the turnips, thought Peep. Anyone could do that; they wouldn’t need a special math person to count turnips, unless perhaps there were an awful lot of turnips.

Peep pondered what the Mommy could be doing with turnips and math as she went through her day. As she ate some delicious crunchies she thought that maybe she was doing math about the best way to grow the turnips. As she groomed herself, Peep thought maybe it had something to do with what you did with turnips. Come to think of it, what did you do with turnips? Peep figured she’d ask Rudy or LT – maybe they would know.

LT said he’d heard of turnips, but had never seen one, that he knew of. “Peep, we’re obligate carnivores. Why would I eat turnips or even know about them?” He was clearly not interested in turnips. His attention was taken up by Ginger and the kittens, and he had no time or patience for Peep.

On the other hand, Rudy was willing to talk. “Hmmm, I’ve been wondering about turnips since I got that email back from the yarn lady, but I didn’t do anything about it. I know they’re vegetables, but that’s about it. Let’s look it up on the internet. I bet we can find something on Wikipedia. They have articles about everything.”

Peep didn’t know Wikipedia from a hole in the wall, but if Rudy was willing to help, she’d go along with it. “Sounds good, Rudy. Let’s go.”

The two cats went into the office, where Rudy booted up the Daddy’s computer. “I wish he’d leave it on. It’s such a pain to jump up there and balance to turn it on. Sometimes I fall two or three times before I get it right. I’m not as young as I used to be!”

Within a few minutes, Rudy had the computer up and running. Going to Wikipedia, she carefully entered the word “turnip”. The article that came up had lots of information, but didn’t give the cats any further ideas about what the Mommy would be doing with turnips. People ate them, fed them to cattle, wrote about them and sometimes carved funny shapes in them, like pumpkins. None of those things particularly were math-related.

“Well, it looks like they could grow around here. If we could get some turnip seeds, we could plant them in the garden, and then if Mommy needs to do something with turnips, they’d already be here. What do you think of that, Rudy?” Peep’s idea was a little way out, but at least she was trying.

“Not bad, but I’m not sure where we’d get turnip seeds. Although I know you can shop online, you need a credit card, and I don’t have one. I don’t think Daddy would appreciate our using his card to buy turnip seeds, do you?”

“Well, if it’s for a good cause, he might not mind. He doesn’t want Mommy to be away any more than we do. Why don’t you look for a place to buy them, and if we find one, then we’ll worry about it.” Peep was being very practical. Don’t worry about something unless you need to.

They found a company called Main Street Seed and Supply Company that would sell them the seeds for $1.95. That seemed like a very reasonable price, and they agreed that they’d go for it. Rudy entered the information, and when it came to the checkout, there was a button that said “Pay with PayPal”. Rudy didn’t know what that was, but it sounded friendly, so she clicked on it. Several screens came up in series, and they found that the Daddy had saved his PayPal information on the computer, so they didn’t even need any card numbers to order the seeds. Within a few minutes, the order was complete, and the last screen said that the seeds should be shipped within 48 hours.

“Wow, that was easy. Now I can see why people get addicted to internet shopping. You don’t need money, and it’s really quick. Now what else do you think we might need….” Rudy was ready to surf the net for other purchases.

Peep was a bit more practical. “Um, Rudy, I think we should stop with this. It’s not our money, you know. The Daddy has to work very hard to get it, and although $1.95 seems really inexpensive, we don’t really understand money. For all I know, you could buy a car for $1.95.”

“Oh. Rats. You’re probably right, Peep. I hope we didn’t bankrupt the Daddy, buying those seeds. Well, it’s too late to do anything about it now. We’ll just wait for the seeds and plant them when they come. We’ll have to check the mailbox, so we can get them before Daddy does. He’d probably just send them back, thinking it was some sort of mistake.” Rudy laughed. “He grows tomatoes, not turnips!”

“Thank you for your help, Rudy. I feel better knowing that we can do something to help keep the Mommy home once she gets here.” Peep butted her head against Rudy’s and nuzzled her ear a little to show her appreciation.

After Rudy went back outside to monitor the yard, Peep settled down for a nap and dreamed of turnips. Giant turnips, wanting Peep to explain to them their purpose in the universe.

Photo courtesy of Adam Rice - http://flickr.com/photos/sudama/23471300/
Note - photo was altered to add the image of the Peep, looking at the turnip.

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