We’ve joked a few times in the past that Toby appears to be something of a politician – there have been a few instances where we’ve asked him an awkward question and he’s answered confidently on a completely unrelated but much more positive topic.

Tonight I noticed politician tendencies but in a considerably more admirable way. For one of his bedtime stories I was reading The Great Goat Chase, in which a farmer’s three goats break into his turnip field and despite the efforts of the farmer and various animals (dog, horse, cow and pig) the goats can’t be chased away and stay in the field eating turnips. (Incidentally Toby remembered that a few nights ago we’d had turnips at dinner time, as part of a pork and apple roast thing Emma put together). Eventually a little bee comes by the group of sad farm denizens and offers to help – they ridicule the idea that a small animal could fix the situation but she flies past the goats and shouts that if they don’t leave the field she’ll sting their bottoms, which works and the goats go back to their field.

I think Toby originally got this book around the time that our adopted country was threatening Iraq, and the parallels of belligerence were grimly amusing to me. However tonight Toby demonstrated a rather enlightened political philosophy – he turned to me and said, “Daddy, why doesn’t the farmer just give the goats a few of the turnips? If he does that, they’ll just take them back to their field and not eat all the rest.”

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