I accompanied my 7-year-old nephew on his school field trip last weekend. One of our destinations was Avilon Zoo.
As we were walking around, a 1st grade student behind us kept telling her mom in this genuinely disappointed voice, “Mommy, bakit wala’ng ganun dito? Dapat meron.” (Mom, why aren’t there any of those here? There should be one.) So I turned to Mom and asked her what the girl was looking for. The girl looked at me and said “Unicorn!”, complete with equally disappointed pout. I swear, her eyes were already brimming with tears.
I told her with a straight face, “Oo nga eh, wala dito. Dapat meron. Ako naman, hinahanap ko kung nasaan yung dragon.” (No, there aren’t any here. They should have one. I’m trying to figure out where the dragon is.)
It’s cool that she believes she will see a unicorn, even if it’s a little disturbing to think of a unicorn caged in a zoo. Sooner or later, she’ll figure out that they aren’t real. When that time comes, I hope she’ll then turn to books to find them.