Page 2 - MidWeek - Jan 12, 2022
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         2 MIDWEEK JANUARY 12, 2022
      When Losing Is Winning
There are more important things in life than winning or losing a game.
— Lionel Messi
         IAnimal Instincts
t’s not just we humans who are trying to find a safe
The crestfallen look on Chris’ face cut me to the quick, even more than his mother’s exasperated words: “Lynne, he’s only 3!”
corner to stay in during ongoing, bizarre times. A
Having taught her son tic- tac-toe, she had asked me to play with him that day. Be- cause I love almost any game, thrill to competition and de- light in winning, I jumped right in. Within minutes, I had a triple-O lineup and trium- phantly proclaimed, “I win!”
Instead, with a perfectly straight face I asked, “Kupo- no, do you have any queens?”
mongoose was captured on Kaua‘i a few weeks back, and for those uninitiated in our audience, the Gar- den Island is one local spot where these vermin have not gotten a foothold.
“Yes!” he cried exuberant- ly, and proudly handed over two of them. His delight in being able to provide what I needed gave me pause. Did he not understand the rules? Somehow, it didn’t matter. He had shown delight in giving, and that was more important than learning or winning any game.
Introduced to Hawai‘i over 120 years ago, mongooses were brought in to help eradicate the growing rat prob- lem in the sugar fields. Well, sugar may be gone from our fields, but mongooses (diurnal creatures) and rats (nocturnal creatures) never hit it off or got together as planned, and both have found their mutually exclusive local niches. For the mongoose, Kaua‘i remains on a list of places to occasionally visit, but not live.
Now, as I saw Chris’ face and heard his mother’s words, it registered that a 3-year-old simply needs to enjoy a game without the worry of cutthroat competition. Because of my thoughtless boast, Chris had lost more than that round of tic-tac-toe. I was embarrassed — and determined to learn from the experience.
A simple card game reveals that it’s not about winning or losing — rather, it’s about giving.
idea is to build piles of four cards of a kind by asking an opponent to surrender, say, any aces. Whoever accumu- lates the most piles wins. Be- cause Kupono’s small hands couldn’t hold many cards, we decided to stick with aces, kings, queens and jacks. Once I was sure he understood the
The state Department of Land And Natural Resourc- es here estimates that mongooses cause $50 million in damages annually, not to mention the unfathomable loss of musubi and other food items left in golf carts. While mongooses have been found on Kaua‘i, they are not en- trenched there, which is good, because that’s one egg/ bird-eating guest no one needs.
rules, I dealt the cards, deter- mined in my mind to let him win.
Lynne Johnson is a com- munity volunteer and student of Christian Science, who enjoys playing the organ for Christian Science Society of Wahiawā.
Chasing The Light is pro- duced by Lynne Johnson and Robin Stephens Rohr.
And just before 2022 rolled in, a wayward (actually leeward, since it was off Ka‘ena Point) wild pig took a bite out of surfer’s surfboard well out in the ocean! Wild bores often appear at Christmas and New Year’s parties, but perhaps due to the fact that everything is once again being (smartly) curtailed, this wild boar was high-tailing it (or low-tailing it, being a feral pig) in the ocean, perhaps to escape hunters and/or dogs. Luckily, the experienced surfer placed her board in between herself and the pad- dling porker and was not harmed.
A special chance to show
Then, unexpectedly, he leaned into my ear and whis- pered excitedly, “Nana, you can ask me for queens.” I re- strained the impulse to shout “No! That’s not how you win.”
Think about it ...
I had done so came some 35 years later, when I decided to teach my 4-year-old grandson the card game Go Fish. The
New Century Schoolbook bold (scaled H 73.6)
with Lynne Johnson
     We do have our fair share of generally unwelcome animal guests here: pigs, mongooses, coquí frogs, cen- tipedes, termites, Jackson’s chameleons, the ubiquitous cockroaches, etc. Even guests of the human variety that we personally invite here sometimes lose their sense of “welcome” after a while, but that’s another story. We share the land (and water), we accept boundaries, and we understand (hopefully) our place in the grand scheme of things in these islands.
 But it still becomes newsworthy (and almost folksy) when we hear about strange animal incidents. Plus, an occasional offbeat story about our fauna friends can help us to put or keep things in perspective, which is still a great relief these days.

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