Children are truly wonderful at getting to the root of the matter. They seem to have a gift for hitting just the right note. Let me tell you a story regarding a friend of mine and her two small grandchildren. Toni and her family were very keen horse riders, and spent lots of time at the nearby stables, where the ones that could would ride, and those that couldn’t, would wander around happily patting the horses and feeding them titbits.
On this particular occasion, Toni had driven over to the stables to check on one of her own horses, and had taken her grandchildren along for the ride. The girls were twins of four years old, and are fairly precocious, being the youngest of a bunch of cousins.
On getting out of the car, an old Dobermann wandered out of the stables and came up to sniff the newcomers. This dog lived on the property and often used to accompany the out rides or sit on the sidelines watching various classes being taught. Now the twins were quite relaxed around animals the size of horses, but a Dobermann!!! No, that was just not on. They simply wouldn’t get out of the car whilst this “huge” animal was wandering around outside. So Toni got one of the grooms to temporarily shut the dog into one of the empty loose boxes. They were only going to walk over to one of the exercising rings, have a look at the horse and then go back to the car and leave, so it was no big deal to leave the dog in the stable for the half-an-hour or so that it would take.
Once the dog was safely out of the way, Toni and the twins started out to visit their horse. Now out of the car and relaxed, the twins immediately shot off like bullets in opposite directions, both screaming for the other to follow them. Quite used to all this racket, Toni proceeded on her way undeterred. Suddenly there was a commotion behind her, and Tessa turned to find the old Dobermann had somehow got out of the stable and was ambling up behind them. The twins were stricken! Knowing the dog was completely harmless, Tessa continued on her way, interested to see how the little girls would handle the situation. A little hand slipped in to hers, and looking up anxiously into her granny’s face, the smaller twin said “my takkies are feeling a bit lonely and would like to walk next to your takkies for a bit. Is that OK?”
Smothering a laugh, Toni asked the child if she was nervous of the dog. “Oh no!” she said. “It’s just that my shoes get lonely sometimes and need to walk next to bigger shoes”.
So that is the story of how a simple pair of children’s takkies can help a child save face when frightened.