Do YOU Know What a Javelina Is?

Chances are that unless you live in the Arizona desert, you will answer “no” to the question above. I had no idea there was such thing as a javelina until just recently. And of course, I have Sophie to thank for this enlightenment.

Lets start at the beginning. Earlier this spring, Sophie came home from preschool nearly everyday and talked about a javelina. She would tell me that javelinas live in the desert and they chase people and animals.

I had NO idea what the kid was talking about! It must be some word she made up or mixed up with something else. The kids were learning about Passover at the time, which chronicles the Jews journey through the Egyptian desert. Was there a so-called javelina in the Book of Exodus? I had no clue.

The javelina talk continued for weeks and I still had no idea what Sophie was referring to. Then one day, I did a search on the word “javelina” and the magical gnomes at Google brought back some interesting results. I stared at the computer screen wide-eyed and mouth open when I saw and read the following: “A javelina is a pig-like animal that lives in the Arizona desert. It is considered dangerous toward people and animal.”

So that little kid knew what she was talking about all along! But how did she know this, I wondered? Perhaps the topic came up at preschool. So I asked Sophie’s teacher if any of the kids have been talking about javelinas.

Sophie’s teacher giggled and pulled out a stuffed javelina doll and a book entitled, The Three Little Javelinas. Said teacher went to college in Arizona; so she is quite familiar with javelinas and instilled her knowledge onto the kids. Apparently I’m not the only parent who asked what a javelina was.

Now I can’t escape javelinas. These creatures are frequently photographed by my Arizona desert-dwelling friend, Melissa, at What I Saw. She keeps me fully informed on javelina sightings in her desert backyard.

So now I know what a javelina is, where they live, and what they look like. And what did I learn from the javelina experience? That I’ll never doubt Sophie again without verifying the information first!

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