We were on the freeway this afternoon when Lyra panicked: “What if our car falls off the world?” she wanted to know.
Adriana assured her that wouldn’t happen. Okay, actually, she sighed in exasperation and said with the air of authority that only a first grader dealing with her younger sister can muster, “You can’t just fall off the world. Think about spaceships.”
“Spaceships go flying off the world! I don’t want our car to!” (Nearly everything Lyra says comes with exclamation points. It’s just the way she is.)
“But spaceships have rockets to launch them. And the rockets have a lot of power. They have to have more power to pick up the spaceship than the power of the gravity holding them down. And power to punch through the cage of air at the top of the sky before you get to space. Our car doesn’t have rockets, so there’s not enough power for it to go off of the world.”
I was actually pretty pleased with Adriana’s explanation, although “cage of air” seemed a bit strange. There was a brief silence from the back seat as Lyra pondered this.
“So not even if the fairies let go?” she asked.
“What fairies?” Adriana and I both wanted to know.
“The fairies that hold things and make sure they don’t fall off the world.”
“Mama,” Adriana said after considering what her sister had said for a couple of seconds. “Is she just messing with us?”
And no matter how many questions we asked, we couldn’t figure out where this idea about the fairies had come from.