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April 20 05:15 AM
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Inquisitive son is now a graduate



shadow
shadow
June 10, 2009
Seeing the horse chestnut tree today in glorious full bloom brought me back nearly two decades, to when my youngest son, recently graduated from college, was a curious youngster.

He had spent time at his Aunt Marilyn's, and had picked up chestnuts that had fallen from the tree in her yard. "Mom," he had asked as he showed me his little basket full, "Did horses lay these?"

Stifling a chuckle, I had responded, "No. They fell off that big tree."

Not satisfied with my answer, he pressed, "Then do horses eat them?"

"I don't think so," I responded, by now beginning to wonder myself.

"Then why are they called horse chestnuts?" he pushed.

"You know, son, I really don't know the answer to that," I admitted. "To tell you the truth, I've never even thought of the question."

When you think of it, isn't that often the way it is with kids? They ask the hard questions grown-ups don't even think to ask. Because they're young, and fresh, and filled with wonder, they see the whole world as a wide-open vista waiting to be explored.

Now that I think of it, a horse did live on the other side of the fence from that tree, so the observation made pretty good sense; but I've since been told that the reason the tree is called a horse chestnut is most likely because of the horseshoe-like way the leaves connect to the stems.

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