Vignettes from country life: the dead reindeer phenomenon


I have discovered that living in the country can lead to some interesting conversations. The smallholder that lives next to us raises deer, which my four-year old daughter insists on calling reindeers - and we don't have the heart to correct her. 'Reindeers' are therefore not infrequently the topic of conversation. Take this exchange between her, myself and my 8 year-old son yesterday for instance:

4 year old (looking out car window): What is it called when a reindeer is die-ded?

Mum (helpfully): You mean 'meat?' (Note to reader: this is not as cynical as it might sound - we were given some wild venison a few days back and I thought perhaps she was referring to that)

4 year old: Nope ...

8 year old (less helpfully): 'Death??'

4 year old (getting a bit impatient): No! It starts with 'reindeer'!

8 year old: 'Reindeer death'??

4 year old (exasperated/crossing her arms in an exaggerated fashion): No!!

And so concluded that conversation. Rather unsatisfactorily for my daughter.

Note that the image above is of a sleeping rather than dead reindeer, in consideration of our younger readers.

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