Several days ago, as clouds sat low in the sky and rain threatened, Elspeth asked if we could go to the beach. I told her we might go to the beach some other day, when the sun was shining. Her immediate, perfectly logical response was to ask, “Mum, can you make the sun shine?” Upon being informed that I couldn’t, she then insisted, “But daddy can!” Eventually she was convinced of the uselessness of both parents, and began to say that she could to it herself! Naturally, her efforts came to nothing and the matter was forgotten.
A few days later, on another wet and cloudy day, Elspeth decided to extend her search for somebody who could make the sun shine. She asked several of her toys, holding each in turn up to the window to try. In a perfectly timed coincidence, just as she was holding up her favourite toy cat, Copernicus, the sun did indeed begin to shine. It was momentary, of course, and a moment later a cloud again blotted it out.
But the damage was done. Elspeth is now convinced that her cat has the power to make the sun shine, and she periodically tries holding him up to the window. “Catty,” as she calls him, “Can you make the sun shine?”
So far, however, he has not been able to reproduce his initial success.