What Do You See?

A father talks with his 8-year-old daughter talk about some drawings by Stan Alec Roberts.

Father: Ok, you can open your eyes now, and I want you to look at each picture and tell me what you see and how you feel about it. Let’s look at the first picture. What do you see?
Daughter: I see a tiger city with trees and all kinds of houses.
Father: And what’s going on in front of the city. What do you see there?
Daughter: I see trees on the tiger’s cheeks.
Father: Oh really?
Daughter: Yeah.
Father: And what do you see near the tiger’s eyes?
Daughter: Lights and streets.
Father: Interesting. Would you like to live in that little tiger city?
Daughter: Maybe not because it moves.
Father: It moves?
Daughter: The tiger mouth. The tigers move, so I don’t want to stay there. It’s an earthquake always.
Father: Let’s look at the next picture, ok?
Daughter: Ok. Wow!
Father: Describe that picture for me.
Daughter: It’s a guy and he has a little nest on his head with a blue bird and seven eggs.
Father: Seven eggs.
Daughter: Pink eggs.
Father: Pink eggs.
Daughter: And then he’s feeling happy because they’re going to hatch soon and he can have new friends.
Father: Why does he have a nest on his head?
Daughter: Um, difficult. I think accidentally, when he was rocking in the forest it dropped.
Father: And it landed on his head?
Daughter: Hm, and he doesn’t notice, but he hears the birds, so he’s keeping it on there, so he can make new friends.
Father: Interesting. Do you think the bird is happy?
Daughter: He looks happy, kind of.
Father: The bird. Do you think it’s a he or a she?
Daughter: I think it’s a she because the males go get the food and the females stay in their nest so they can protect the eggs.
Father: Let’s look at the next picture. What do you see happening there?
Daughter: Hm. It’s about a picture in the night with an…a city in a hat, with a Buddha in the little palace. And then, all the way to the back there’s mountains and trees, but they’re different. The trees are different. And, and on one side of the picture the moon is round, but on the other side of the picture it’s almost going to be gone. So, the guy that has the moon that’s round, he’s happy because it’s lucky – a day. But the other guy, the other guy on the other side with the moon almost going to shrink and be gone, he’s sad about it because he’s lucky.
Father: Interesting. Let’s look at the next picture. Talk about this one. What is it?
Daughter: It’s a rabbit with a hat on that says 2011. This year is 2011, so maybe, and, 2011 is the rabbit year, so I think this picture is about the rabbit year of 2011.
Father: Interesting. Very good. And what is the rabbit looking at?
Daughter: Us.
Father: Really. How does he feel?
Daughter: I think he feels happy because it’s his own year.
Father: Let’s look at the next picture. Talk about this one.
Daughter: On the bottom it looks like it says, “floating.” From his nose, it looks like a beard, but it’s blood coming out of his nose. And from the chin there is fire coming out, but it looks like a beard. And his hair, it looks nice, but it might be blood coming out of his brain. And he looks kind of, um, really sad. But his mouth looks like he’s talking about something. On the bottom it says, “floating,” so maybe he’s saying, “I’m floating.”
Father: Ok. Let’s look at the next picture. Talk about this one.
Daughter: It looks like a two-headed human with four eyes, one nose, and one mouth. And it looks like, that, he got another person’s head, about right where almost his nose is going to appear, but one guy cut it and put it on his head. And that guy, that got cut off, is wearing a hat. But the guy down below doesn’t notice because he was bald and he didn’t have no hair, but now he has hair with two more eyes and a hat.
Father: Wow. Ok. Let’s look at this picture.
Daughter: Oh! That picture…it looks like he’s on a camp, and he’s, and then he is sitting and on the back of there, there’s bugs and maybe the mind is playing tricks on him to make the bugs bigger and the animals creepier and much more bigger. And then, he’s holding his food and he’s thinking about, “Don’t take my food. That’s my food.”
Father: How does he feel?
Daughter: I think he feels, just, really angry, because maybe…a crab is back there, and the other is a beetle, and maybe they’re trying to get back there, so maybe he’s talking with his mind.
Father: I see. What is he looking at?
Daughter: He’s looking straight. But, it’s a picture, so I don’t know. Maybe he’s looking at the people that’s looking at him.
Father: I see. Ok. Very good.

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