What’s in a Name?

The naming of characters is an important task for any author. Sometimes you just know that the heroine should be called ‘Hortense.’ Sometimes ‘Jane’ becomes ‘Josephine’ half-way through. Sometimes the characters let you know their names in time as you come to know their personalities. Sometimes they remind you of someone.

That is just what happened with my daughter this weekend when she befriended a cricket. After catching him in a clear Mr. Potato Head and providing him with a stick and a damp paper towel she pondered his name. ‘Cricket’ was tossed around. ‘Tiger’ was a front-runner. But, finally, she settled on ‘Rick Steves.’

An odd choice, some might say, but not in our household where weekend viewings of ‘Travels in Europe’ are frequent and enjoyed by everyone. And for a day and a half my six-year-old had a terrified pet to prove it.

Well, Mr. Steves, I hope you’ll take it as a compliment.

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