Friday, January 30, 2009

Brotherly Love

After posting this photo I realize that it's not a very clear one, but what the heck. Blame my aging Mac. You can click on it and that might give you more resolution. And I can describe it for you.

We play the Haggis Hunt every year. It's put on by the nutty folks at the Royal Scotsman. It's a Big Deal around our house, too, ever since we won some prizes. (here Sheila coughs modestly and glances at her coffee mug that has SheilaOfficial Haggis Huntswoman on it) Last year Max won a very cool t-shirt with a golden haggis on it, as well as a couple of Royal Scotsman calendars, but this year we've noticed that the prizes have been toned down to mostly calendars, not nearly as exciting as t-shirts and mugs. The idea is that one searches 10 live webcams (you can see them in the photo) for glimpses of a Haggis, which is not, as you might think, a meat and oatmeal mixture in a casing. No, a Haggis, according to the Royal Scotsman, is a live creature. The most rare Haggis of all is the golden one (you can see one at the top of the photo). During the Haggis Hunt we leave the computer on more than usual and take time out each day to search for haggi. The first one found each season is the cause of much screeching and whooping. 

And yes, the twins really DO think they exist. 

And no, I've done nothing to dispel this notion. 

When we finished reading The Water Horse (a book about the Loch Ness creature), the kids instantly wanted to dash off to Scotland to see both Crusoe AND some Haggis. It's an oddly compelling game, this Haggis Hunt. 

The above photo is the High Scores panel for the game Farquhar's Revenge, one of the games in the Haggis Hunt. The idea is that you control the movements of the head ghillie, Farquhar, as he attempts to bash the head of every haggis he can find. Gosh, sounds a little on the violent side, doesn't it? It even has little Batman-like stars that appear in place of the haggis when Farquhar makes a hit, and awesome swooshing sounds when he brandishes his club. Ooh, that sounds like we actually enjoy bashing those little Haggi. Hmmm. Not sure where to go with this... 

The photo. Right.

This year Max got his playing down to where he actually managed to fill up most of the High Scores panel. No mean feat, what with all those other players in other places, people like WhteBear, Athena, and HaggisPalz playing just as strategically. But he knocked them all down the list, giving himself the top 6 positions. And felt pretty pleased with himself. Yes, I admit, you might have to be a 12 year old boy (or a doting mother of a 12 year old boy) to grasp the import of this.

Then Dominic got on, with a High Score of his own. If you can bring yourself to peer closely at that photo, you'll see his name at the number 7 position. There was much joy in the land here when he did this, let me tell you. I think he relived this experience several nights in a row, he was so pleased with himself. And reminded FDPG of his achievement every moment the day brought, a fact that did not bring a lot of joy to his exceedingly competitive sister.

But Max was still playing. And in what I considered and exceedingly sweet gesture, he continued to knock everyone off the High Scores board. Everyone, that is, but his brother. He left him on. He played above and below him, but left Dominic's score intact. 

I don't think Dominic realizes what a brotherly gesture this was, but I do. Thanks Max. You're a gem of a kid. As the midwife said when you were born (in a snowstorm): "He's a Max in a million!"

(because his name is Maximillian)

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