Problem Solving Inside The Box

The other night, we were reading Peter Pan — that is, the Disney’s Peter Pan storybook adaptation. The version we have is illustrated with wonderful paintings that evoke stills from the animated film. The writing tells the story with wit that is only a tiny bit snarky (I roll my eyes at the crocodile wanting a “Hookburger” but the “Peter loved being valiant” is spot-on). However, in order to be concise, it must leave a lot of details out.

So, we’re reading the story. Tinker Bell has been trapped in a lantern by Captain Hook. He explains, in her hearing, that he has left a bomb for Peter that will soon explode. Tinker Bell escapes from the lantern and speeds away to warn Peter. Then —

RU sits up. “How does Tinker Bell get out of the lantern?”

“Oh. It doesn’t say, I’m afraid. It just says that she got out of it.”

“But how did she get out?”

“Well, did we watch the movie just the other day?”


“Do you remember how she got out in the movie?”

RU thinks for a bit, then shakes her head.

“I don’t really remember how she got out, either. I think I missed that part. But she probably just tried really hard and broke free. Or she could have knocked over the lantern and got out when the glass broke.”

RU doesn’t seem satisfied, but lapses into silence. I get back to the story, where Tink is struggling to get the bomb away from —


“Yes, RU?”

“Maybe Tinker Bell used her pixie dust to make the lantern fly. Then she could just fly away, even though she’s still in the lantern.”

Wow. I am floored.

“Honey, that is absolutely brilliant. I don’t think that’s what Tinker Bell did, but it’s exactly what she ought to have done. That’s the cleverest thing I’ve heard all day; Tinker Bell was not as smart as you.”


(Full disclosure: if I’ve done it right, the link above should take you to the very same version of the book that we have on Amazon, and if you purchase it, I’d receive a pittance.)