When my daughter, Ashlyn, was in the fourth grade she was tasked with combining two existing animals in order to create an original hybrid creature. There were no guidelines as to which two animals were chosen to combine, meaning that the group of fourth-graders could choose any animals their hearts desired. The kids were so creative with where their imaginations took them. Part of their assignment was to write a paper that detailed her newly imagined Franken-creature's background. Ashlyn wrote all about this animal including its’ characteristics, habitat, what it'd eat, etc. Keep in mind that the students also had to create some sort of replica of this animal and of course.. a name for it.
She started talking about the assignment the second I picked her up from school. She was also quick to let me know that she had firmly decided on her choice of animals to combine... a frog and a duck... What the “fruck”? Out of all the animals out there, she had to pick something that rhymes with the “F word” and another animal that starts with the letter F. My mind immediately lept to the possibility of my daughter presenting her new animal as the “F word”. I desperately tried to offer lots of other animals for her to combine with her frog so we wouldn’t have to go there! But, of course, there was no changing her mind, those were her two animals. She had already submitted them to her teacher and started making notes for her report and replica. So, bless her innocence, I didn’t say a thing. My mind was racing about how to get her to choose something different and then it happened. I just sat there and let her explain to me this frog/duck combo and she was very matter of fact about how excited she was to create a “drog.” Yeah, thank the Lord it’s a “drog”!!
She hadn’t even considered anything else. Of course, when you combine a frog and duck it couldn’t possibly be anything but a “drog”! How did we escape that one? She didn’t even run through different possibilities or even mention a name other than her “drog” that she had chosen. Ryan and I talked all about it and we thought one of the other students might go there, but they didn’t. At least not that any of us know about. She carefully attached feathers to a paper bag and put it on one of her frog stuffed animals and it was honestly the cutest and most innocent process. Ashlyn was none the wiser as she stood up in front of that class, joyfully presenting her “drog” (while avoiding a major faux pas), and to our whole family's excitement... earned an A on her science project!