Monday, July 6, 2009

The Crayon

One of the delights of a summer picnic is the children who enjoy every bit of it. One of our delightful children (among the extended Columbia Cruising Fleet family) was coloring in a dime-store book while her older sister did word-find games in another. Each was obsessed with her task. The younger sister lost a crayon on the dock, through a space between two slabs, but it didn't fall into the river instead landing on a spanner just above the water. Dorothy spotted it and I couldn't help but make it a challenging game to attempt to retrieve it. The girl didn't seem to mind one way or the other.

Lee's strategy was to spear the crayon with a hot wire. Jim thought it would float in the same direction that a wine cork would so we should dump it in the river--which is what eventually happened but not before the hot poker strategy was tried. I ran to Speakeasy to get a wire hanger and a lighter. I unwound the hanger and heated one end. I carefully lowered the hot poker through the space between two slabs and down about 18 inches to the crayon. The wire started to melt the crayon, but then it cooled and the crayon rolled. I decided on a another strategy--to create pincers to grab the crayon using the hanger. I bent the wire and smoothed the ends and gave it a good careful attempt, but instead of grabbing the crayon it spun around and dropped into the river.

Based on Jim's theory of crayon floatation, we put a cork in the river and watched which way it flowed. The wind carried it slowly upstream. We watched for some time, but saw no crayon. Then, one of our group asked again if a crayon would really float. The youngster did her own test by throwing another crayon in the river. It sank immediately.

The game was over. The stories told. Another successful Cruiser picnic.
Post a Comment