Friday, September 22, 2006

A binterong, a binterong ... my kingdom for a binterong ...

It is the year 2000 ... Dad and Noahkila are travelling from Manitoba to British Columbia ... They have just spent a couple of weeks in Minnedosa starting to unpack the house, and get things set up while Mom and the girls are getting ready for the big move to the Prairies ... Noahkila is six, and has watched more then his fair share of natue and animal shows on televsion. He has become a repository of all manner of knowledge about animals, both modern and ancient ...

Got a question about dinosaurs? Ask him ...
Got a question about any kind of animal? Ask him ...
His knowledge, even at 6 is broad and impressive ... BUT, once in awhile he is WRONG. And sometimes it's worth remembering that moment and reminding him of it ...

So, Dad and Noahkila are driving along Hwy 16 somewhere east of Edmonton when an animal is spotted in the brush along the side of the road. It was in all likelihood a dog ... But to Noahkila's wondrous eyes it is far more exotic:
"It's a Binterong !!" exclaimed Noahkila excitedly.
"A what?" replied Dad.
"A BINTERONG !!" replied Noahkila, still excited.
"What's a Binterong?" asked Dad.
"It's a small nocturnal animal that looks like a cat, but it bigger." answered Noahkila.
"There are no Binterongs in Canada," answered Dad, feeling pretty certain but having an inkling of doubt dancing around his mind.
"Yes, there are," replied Noahkila, "they are a small nocturnal mammal."
"I'm pretty sure there are no Binterongs in Canada," repeated Dad, "It was a dog."
"It wasn't a dog," returned Noahkila, "It was a Binterong."

"It was a Dog."

"It was a Binterong."

"It was a dog."

"It was a Binterong."

(and so it went for quite sometime ...)

Finally Dad waved the white flag ... "Whatever, believe what you will. It was a DOG." Said Dad.
"Binterong," muttered Noahkila ... as he fell into silence.

A couple of weeks later we were in Port Hardy just hanging out as our time to move to Minnedosa drew nearer, one afternoon one of the Kratt's Brother's shows was playing on CBC ... suddenly they announced that the animal they were going to have a visit from was a BINTERONG !!

"A Binterong???" exclaimed Dad ... and the entire household fell silent as we watched ...

It turns out that Binterongs are indeed nocturmal, they are small animals, they look kind of like a big cat ... BUT ... they are native to Southeast Asia, NOT western Canada.

"Hah !!" said Dad feeling vindicated.

Noahkila was non-plussed about the whole thing. His reply was a simple: "Well, what I SAW WAS a Binterong." he said with great certainty, "it probably escaped from a Zoo ..."

"Drat," muttered Dad ...

To this day though, one of the joys when we're driving is to suddenly point out the window and say "Hey Noahkila !! A Binterong !!!"
His reply is a dry "Ha ha ... very funny ..."

And he still insists that what he saw was a Binterong ...

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