Friday, September 7, 2007


In German, the dandelion has two names: Löwenzahn (lion's teeth, and the spelling above is the plural) and Pusteblume (blow-flower). The lion name references the mane-like flower and the jagged-edged leaves; and blowing is exactly what you do when you see a flower gone to fluff (or at least that's what my daughter HAS to do). Pusteblume is not only the name of my son's reading book but of many, many Kindergartens. Germans are very much in tune with the seasons, and as summer approaches the kids learn this poem by Josef Guggenmos:

stand er da im Silberhaar.

Aber eine Dame,
Anette war ihr Name,
machte ihre Backen dick,
machte ihre Lippen spitz,
blies einmal, mit Macht,
blies ihm fort die ganze Pracht.

Und er blieb am Platze
zurueck mit einer Glatze.

My kids are inexplicably entertained by Babel Fish's awkward translation:

Marvelously was located it there in the silver hair. But a lady, Anette was their name, made their cheeks thick, made their lips pointed, blew once, with power, blew him away the whole splendour. And it remained at the place back with a bald head.

The DVD with the charming, balding man is from a TV series named for the tenacity and ingenuity of the the flower in finding places to grow. The show itself is about ingenuity and how things work, in a sustainable and environmentally friendly framework. It's a favorite in this household.

I tried to find more of the kids' dandelion pictures, but only came up with the one. Regardless, this is where my thinking is going with this theme. "The dandelion as it relates to my kids' years in German Kindergarten."


Nikki said...

My kids must be in touch with thier little bit of German heritage. Blow Flower is the name in our house.