I was recently asked if children ever came out with anything embarrassing at my storytellings. It's true: little ones say the first thing that comes into their head. I've got used to it now, but it threw me to begin with.
The most embarrassing one though, was more my own fault than the child's. It was way back when I only had one published book: The Show at Rickety Barn. It was a great book for storytellings - I had a big bag of dress-up props and children would help me to duplicate the 'show' from the story.
One day, I was doing an event in a library. After our little 'show', I did my usual big, flipchart drawings. I was working my way through the farm animals in the story and got to the cow. Anyone who remembers the original homepage on my website, will know that the cows juggle crockery (rather badly), standing up on their hind legs:
I like to gently tease the children, by leaving things out of the flipchart drawings, so they can tell me what's missing. I left off the cow's tail and turned to face the class of 6 year olds seated on the floor.
'Mmm, have I forgotten anything..?' I mused.
A little lad put up his hand: 'Please Miss: he's got no balls!'
Trying hard to take this rather precocious comment in my stride, I smiled and explained how it was a lady cow, because she had udders. I pointed to the udders on the flipchart.
The little boy looked confused.
I suddenly became aware of librarians on the outskirts, sniggering into their hands. Only then did it dawn on me that it was a juggling cow: the little lad meant juggling balls!!!