This afternoon, as I was reading a big book about a small door mouse looking for a safe place to rest, called A Bed for the Winter, I got a little surprise. Now revelations in kindergarten are quite common, but they never get old. It’s part of what I love most about my job… little surprises.

During the story, the little mouse keeps bumping into other animals in their nests and is, for one reason or another, scared away. It’s a big book, full of photographs of the animals, many in threatening poses, so each time I’d turn the page, the group would gasp with delight. It’s a pretty awesome book.

One page had a close up of a snake’s head with his long black tongue slithering out of his mouth. He was fierce. The text on the page referred to his tongue going in and out of his mouth and the mouse scurrying away. That’s about it. Now I figured most of the children knew that snakes eat mice, but not much more.

I asked the group, “Why do you think the mouse was scared?”

Betsy raised her hand. Now Betsy is one of the girliest girls in the class. I’m pretty sure everything she owns is either pink or purple. I was quite curious what she had to say about this snake and mouse.

“Well, the mouse is running away because the snake is using his tongue to smell him… snakes use their tongues to smell! Hee, hee!” She exclaimed.

At that moment, I’m pretty sure my tongue was hanging out in disbelief.

“Betsy, I’m so impressed you know that, how did you learn that amazing fact? I wondered.

“I watch Animal Planet all the time, see, it makes me smarter,” she informed me.

Well, I was, surprised indeed. I guess I should watch more Animal Planet myself.