It was when I was about six years old. One day, I was playing with one of my childhood best friends inside our community of tiny half-dilapidated apartments. We had been playing for a while exploring the edges of our community premise, and now wanted to go to the park to play on the swings. When we approached the park, however, we saw our mothers standing at the entrance of the park, chatting.
We had the feeling that if we made ourselves visible to our mothers, they might tell us that it was time for us to go back home. Neither of us wanted that. I had an idea.
“Okay, let’s pretend that we are somebody else!”
“How do we do that?” My friend asked with curious eyes.
In my class at kindergarten, there were two girls who were close friends and always hung out together. I told my friend that I would talk like one of them.
“So, you can talk like the other girl. This way, our mothers won’t recognize us!”
But for some reason, my friend didn’t quite understand my words. When I started talking like one of the girls from the kindergarten, my friend started talking like a cat.
“So, we are now going to the park, meow, I can’t wait to play on the swing, prrrr!”
As we both made our way to the park, I tried to explain to her the point of this strategy.
“We have to sound real!” I said earnestly. “Can you be something else other than a cat? Because a cat doesn’t speak, right?”
But my friend continued talking with a cat accent, and soon, we came to the entrance of the park. As we tried to pass in front of our mothers, they called us.
“There you are!” They exclaimed. “Now, its’ time to go home!”
And thus, our happy play time came to an end for the day. I was upset that our strategy didn’t work at all, and secretly wished that my friend had chosen to mimic a human rather than a cat – even though that would probably have made little difference to the outcome.