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We live near a fire station. Because of this, we get to hear the sirens of firetrucks at all hours. That is the downfall. But Jupiter loves it. He has a fascination for emergency vehicles and loves watching the firetrucks whiz by on their way to a rescue, a fire, or to get a cat out of a tree.
The other day he and our dog Bowser were glued to something that was outside our front window. Eventually I got curious as to what was so interesting. When I went to the window to see what they were looking at, I saw a firetruck parked right there in front of the house.
Jupiter asked me what it was doing out there. I looked around and did not see any smoke. I saw one firefighter talking on her radio and another one looking up at a tree. I told Jupiter that I was not sure why it was there. I posed a hypothesis or two as to what they might be doing out there. I said that maybe there was indeed a cat in a tree. I also guessed that perhaps they had found a fire hazard that needed to be addressed.
While it can be fun to make guesses as to why something is, the fact is that we do not know without some sort of evidence. In this case, the best way to find out why there was a firetruck and firefighters in front of our house was to go out there and ask one of them. So that is just what we did.
When we went out there, we made sure that we were not getting in the way of whatever it was the firefighters were doing. We also made sure they could tell that we were watching them, but waited for them to approach us before submitting our query. When a man in uniform did approach us, I stated my hypothesis about cats in trees and asked if that was correct. The man responded that this was incorrect with laughter and a smile on his face. Then he proceeded to tell us that there was a report of some out of place smoke in the area and that they had come to investigate.
Jupiter and I thanked the firefighter for answering our question and watched the firetruck drive away. We then went back inside and continued our day, Jupiter with a fresh example in his head as to how one may critically examine a situation to find out information on an unknown area of interest. There is no better educator than real world experience.