I was reading the 1963 Fantagraphics Peanuts collection to my son (now on sale!) he’s gotten really into them recently. Anyway, there’s one fantastic series of strips where Linus paints a Biblical mural on the ceiling of Snoopy’s doghouse. In perhaps the best, Linus comments that he isn’t sure what Antiochus Epiphanes of the Maccabee story looks like— a lack of knowledge which, Snoopy comments, is forgivable in a six year old.
My son is very curious about how old the Peanuts characters are exactly, so I pointed to the end of the strip and said, “Look, Snoopy says Linus is six, just like you.”
“Linus is six?” he said.
“Yes,” I said. “But he doesn’t act like he’s six really does he?”
“No,” he said. “Because he carries a blanket around and sucks his thumb.”
“Um, right.” I said. “But he also does things that seem older. Like painting a mural on the roof of a doghouse. Could you paint a mural on the ceiling of a doghouse?”
“I could if the doghouse was big enough.”
“I could. I can paint. And I could paint a mural about the Hanukkah story.”
As is the way of my Semitic people, I have, of course, done absolutely nothing to further my child’s religious education, prompting my wife, who was sitting nearby, to ask the obvious question.
“How do you know that the Maccabees have anything to do with Hanukkah?”
He looked at us like we were crazy. “Because,” he said, “I saw it on Krypto the Super Dog.”