"Look at this one, Allyson," I said. "Guess what it's called? A blue-footed booby! Isn't that a funny name?"
She laughed politely, scrunching her brows as she tried to find the humor. After a moment she said, "Oh, yes. It's funny that a bird has blue feet."
"Yes, that's funny. But isn't the name really funny? It's a blue-footed BOOBY," I repeated.
She covered her mouth as realization dawned. "Oh, you mean like your..."
I deflected her hand, which was reaching toward my... booby.
"Yes," I said.
"That is a funny name!" she said, and we both laughed ourselves silly.
I probably would have forgotten the incident had it not been for our family walk that evening. Bill had succumbed to Allyson's begging and allowed her to hold Lola's leash--which seemed like a risky move to me. One glimpse of a Chihuahua, and she could pull Allyson's arm out of socket. Fortunately, Allyson quickly relinquished the leash to Bill.
We hadn't even made it past our side yard when Lola started jerking Allyson back and forth. We were lagging behind a few yards while Bill stooped to pull a few weeds and toss them into the gutter, but I could still hear Allyson muttering at Lola.
"Lola, you're like a... blue-footed booby!" she scolded.
It was an apt comparison, actually. According to Wikipedia:
Other than the part about being eaten by humans, doesn't that sound an awful lot like Lola? She's rather on the dumb side, and very tame, and definitely a clown.The name booby comes from the Spanish term bobo, which means "stupid" or "fool"/"clown". This is because the Blue-footed Booby is clumsy on the land, and (like other seabirds), they can be very tame and therefore easily captured, killed, and eaten by humans.
A few days after the walk, I asked Allyson why she'd called Lola a blue-footed booby. "Was it because she's silly?"
"No," she said. "It was because she was jumping around so much I thought she was trying to fly like a bird."
"Oh," I said.
I just love to see how Allyson thinks.
And I love our Blue-Footed Booby. Yes, I'm started to realize that. I really do!