Farewell, Warthog


Well, our warthog met his demise today. It’s a shame, because I’ve been rooting for him for a long time now. But I guess his number was up.

I’m referring to the warthog in one of my children’s favorite books: Alphabet, by Matthew van Fleet. This is a great book, with lots of flaps, textures and pull tabs. My oldest, now three, used to love this book. We read it over and over from the time he was about six months old. The problem is that when you start reading with children that young, they of course don’t understand how to take care of their books, so a lot of animals had to sacrifice themselves in the name of early childhood education. I think the quahog clam was the first to go, followed by the nightingales and the kangaroos. By the time that my youngest, now 11 months, inherited the much-loved tome, only a few of the flaps were left. He has obliterated each of them, slowly and methodically. The last man standing was warthog, for the letter W: Wet, waddling warthogs shake, shake, shake. Unfortunately, warthog won’t be shaking his thing any more, because today we ripped him out of the book.

Warthog’s fate really does make me sad. Every time we’d reach that page, I would cover him up protectively, in hopes of extending his life – and the life of our book – just a little longer. But I just wasn’t fast enough today. But it’s okay, because in my heart, I know that warthog truly did sacrifice himself for a worthy cause: promoting an early love of reading. Both my boys really do love to read, and this book – and it’s many fun flaps – is one of the reasons why.

So, thanks, Warthog, for your sacrifice. You and your other flap friends truly did make a difference. You helped my boys learn to love to read. That’s one of the greatest gifts you can give. So rest in peace, Warthog, rest in peace.


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