Recess on the playground. I am eight years old.

Mike*: Hey, I learned to whistle this weekend! Listen!

He puckers his lips and blows a breathy but sustained note.

Mike: Cool, huh?

We all agree. It's cool.

Me: Check this out. I can whistle blowing in and out.

I demonstrate a thin whistle, alternating between drawing and blowing.

All: Coooooool.

Tim: This is how I whistle for my dog! Whee-oo-wheet!

The rest of us exchange a look.We are baffled.

John: That's not whistling. That's just saying the words "whee-oo-wheet."

Tim looks hurt.

Tim: Yes it is! My dad says I'm a great whistler! Listen. Whee-oo-wheet! Whee-oo-wheet! Whee-oo...

He repeats the sound over and over, hoping that if he whee-oo-wheets enought times, what he believes to be true will actually become so. The rest of us exchange another look and make a silent pact.

Mike: Oh, right. Good job!

Me: That's really great.

John: Yeah. Let's go play hide and seek.

*names have been changed to protect the innocent

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