One of the first words I learned how to spell was walk, and it was one of the first words my children learned to spell as well. Why is that? I'll spell the reason out for you. D-o-g.
Yes, I was raised in a family with pets, and I'm raising a family with pets. In our house, if you use the word "walk," you are guaranteed to have the mutton head that is our dog come up, look you in the eye and cock her head. And if you show any sign of going out the door, she is on you immediately.
But we humans are smarter, right? We've learned to spell it out. I've learned to not make eye contact with the dog when I'm assessing whether any child o' mine, especially the youngest, my frequent partner in dog walks, wants to go with me on this twice-daily ritual. Because if she gets a whiff of that word plus eye contact, the jig is up.
As I said, I've learned the tricks to trick the dog. The kids? Not so much. They will mistakenly use the word prematurely probably half the time. And then what happens? That crazy dog starts running in circles -- she never walks, by the way -- and running up and down the stairs to herd us as quickly as possible to her leash and her freedom.
And woe be any of us who uses the word in some other context. She waits to hear that word. "Can I go walk to Sophie's?" my daughter will ask. Yikes! "Can I walk home from school?" that same daughter or my eldest will ask. Double yikes. The only time the word can be used is either when we're taking her or we've just taken her, so she knows it's not about her.
Smart dog, eh? Maybe. She now knows what we mean when we spell w-a-l-k. Sadly, she now gets her hopes dashed repeatedly because whenever we spell a word, she thinks it must mean we're going for a walk. She would never get past Round 2 in any spelling bee. And let me tell you, with a five-year-old boy in the house who is learning how to read and write, we're spelling words an awful lot. Maybe I should get the dog a dictionary so she can bone up on her spelling.
[I'm thinking I'm way off on the prompt this week, but you never know, do you? Why don't you go check out some other Sunday Scribblings and see for yourself.]