Maya's been asking me frequently in recent days to act out the story of Noah's Ark with her Fisher Price set. One day, while the animals were in the process of boarding the ark, she requested that I wait to close the boat's door until two extra passengers had a chance to take their places inside...Thomas the tank engine and James the red engine.
"Can Thomas and James go on the ark too, Mama?"
"Um, sure." I answered. After all - if talking, feeling, thinking trains had existed back in the day, I'm sure God would have included a pair among the ark-bound menagerie.
The updated twist on the classic tale grew more involved a few days ago when I was interrupted again, this time in the middle of the Lord's monologue to Noah about the upcoming flood and his related instructions.
"And Noah listened to God, " I was explaining, "and obeyed what he was told about..."
"And THEN, " Maya interjected excitedly, "Noah heard a 'Peep peep!'! Here comes Thomas the Tank Engine!"
That's right - in current repetitions of this story, Thomas and James have developed speaking roles. The new version also involves Thomas carrying all of the animals to the ark. He's sort of a railway assistant to Noah.
It's all good, I suppose. She's taking an interest in Bible stories and exercising her creative muscles at the same time. It does make me wonder what new fusion will show up next. Elmo at the nativity? Boots the Monkey curled up next to Moses in the woven basket floating through Egypt? Only time...and my three-year-old director...will tell.