What happens if you catch it by its toe?

There’s an eeny meeny miny moe that tells us to catch a tiger by the toe. I’ve also heard that if you catch a leprechaun by his toe he  must reveal to you where his pot o’ gold hides. I’ve actually heard a similar claim about dragons as well. I figured these were just stories someone once told and didn’t think much of them.


The other day, my daughter was just sitting at the foot of the bed, holding my toe. There was no real reason for it. Just that it was there. I was working at the time; sitting on the bed, my back against the wall, my legs straight in front of me and crossed at the ankles with my laptop in my lap. I became aware that I was uncomfortable and needed to adjust my position.

That’s when I learned the answer to the question…

What happens if you catch it by the toe? It becomes paralyzed. I couldn’t move my legs. I could feel her gentle pressure on my toe. I could feel the weight of my computer on my lap. I couldn’t so much as twitch a muscle from the hips down. My ankles that I’d so casually crossed were now locked together. Nothing moved.

She barely held on to the tip of my middle toe. She touched it with just a thumb and forefinger. Touching it as if it were delicate. It’s probably not even fair to say she held it. Am I the only one who was unaware of this phenomenon?

So that’s when my daughter taught me why children are told to catch creatures by the toe. I love that my daughter can always teach me things. Children aren’t afraid to touch things, try things, do things that we may have forgotten or never had the chance to do ourselves. They are also sponges absorbing everything from the world around them. If we take the time, we can learn so much from our children. We are their first teachers, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still have things to learn from them, too.


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