“Do old warthogs look like Vanderbilt or Mr. Gronko?”

Warthog (Image by D. Gordon E. Robertson via Wikipedia)

First let’s define our terms. Thanks to the power of the Roku + the Netflix, The Four-Year-Old has recently discovered the Busytown Mysteries, an animated Canadian children’s show based on characters created by Richard Scarry.

One afternoon, after spending a pleasant half-hour getting together again with Huckle, an orange tabby with a passion for solving everyday mysteries, The Four-Year-Old began reflecting on the realism of the show.

“Mommyo, do old warthogs look like Vanderbilt or Mr. Gronko?”

Although I have been unable to find photos of either the Warthog Vanderbilt or Mr. Gronko on the Intertubes, I can tell you, thanks to The Four-Year-Old’s superior information, that both are indeed characters on the Busytown Mysteries. Vanderbilt checks the weather in Busytown, while Mr. Gronko is “the biggest grump in Busytown.”

Further conversation elicited the key point. Using skills picked up from previous afternoons spent with Buddy (a five-year-old T. Rex on the Dinosaur Train), The Four-Year-Old had been busily comparing features between the two warthogs. Vanderbilt has two pairs of tusks, while Mr. Gronko has only one.

And that observation brings us to the The Four-Year-Old’s real question: Do warthogs have one pair of tusks or only two?

“Old warthogs, Mommyo.”

Excuse me. The Four-Year-Old only cares about old warthogs. Young warthogs need not apply.

Skull of a male warthog. (Image by Didier Descouens via Wikipedia)

Preliminary results from Asking the iPhone indicate that warthogs have two pairs of tusks, making Vanderbilt the more accurately drawn of the two.

Still, could old warthogs lose their tusks? This guy certainly appears to only sport three tusks, instead of the regulation four, which implies that tusk-related mishaps can happen. And let’s not forget that Mr. Gronko is widely acknowledged to be the biggest grump in Busytown. Perhaps that’s because he has had so much trouble keeping his tusks.

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book, Did Dinosaurs Have Belly Buttons?, is currently planned for release in 2018. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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2 Responses to “Do old warthogs look like Vanderbilt or Mr. Gronko?”

  1. Pingback: An Interview with The Four-Year-Old | CATERPICKLES

  2. Pingback: Busytown Mysteries The Biggest Mysteries Ever

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