GK: The National Association for Gifted Children is meeting in convention in the Twin Cities this weekend and their arrival here reminds me of back when I discovered that I was gifted. It was in November ---- when winter moves in (WIND, WOLF HOWL) and it's dark on the frozen tundra and when I was a child I experienced rather dramatic hair growth all over my body.

SS: Don't worry about it. It's perfectly normal, sweetheart. And it looks so nice.

GK: I wasn't sure how normal it was, but here in Minnesota, we don't talk about things that are odd or wrong. We believe in avoidance.

SS: Finish your homework and I'll give you some banana bread.

GK: So in my family we simply didn't talk about hair growth or about the fact that Dad was digging a hole in the basement floor. (TR WORKING, DIGGING WITH FRONT PAWS, RHYTHMICALLY) He was digging down deep with his hands. Digging a hole in the dirt. I felt a terrible hunger. I ate macaroni and cheese for weeks. (RAVENOUS EATING) I ate pounds and pounds of it. Macaroni and cheese. As the wind blew (WIND) and the snowdrifts rose around our little house (WIND) and I got fatter and fatter.

SS: Have some more macaroni. I sliced up little wieners in it. And it's got lots and lots of cheese.

GK: I felt really sleepy. So did they. Dad went down the hole (SNORING) and Mom beside him. (SS & TR SNORING) And I joined them. (BRIDGE) And woke up and it was April. (YAWNING)

SS: So------. Looks to me like the lawn needs raking.

TR: Yeah. Boy, what happens to the time.

SS: Seems like yesterday it was autumn. And now it's spring.

GK: We never talked about what was happening to us. I had to look it up in an encyclopedia. The hair growth, the webbing between the toes, the whiskers, the little beady eyes. We had turned into muskrats. (STING) I went in to see our school counselor, Mr. Malcolm. And I told him everything.

TR: Well, you're a gifted child, Carson. It's simply a different sort of gift. The gift of sleep. Usually we would think of giftedness in terms of consciousness but yours is a form of unconsciousness. Everyone is different, and you're different in a little different sort of way. (CHEWING) You just have to deal with what you've been-Carson-stop chewing on my desk.

GK: Sorry.

TR: (TAPPING) Eyes up here, Carson. Focus.

GK: I just feel strange about my muskrat side.

TR: Well, you get all that sleep in the winter so you're well-rested. And we'll be happy to let you make up the classes you missed. (BRIDGE)

GK: One of those classes was biology and in that class wasa beautiful young woman----

SS: Excuse me--Carson?

GK: Ellen-hi--

SS: Um, I know this is odd, and I don't want to hurt your feelings, but---would you be in my biology experiment?

GK: Yes. Yes, I'd love to be your biology experiment.

SS: I've always been really really interested in large rodents, such as muskrats ----- not that I want to label you ---- not at all ---- I think that rodents have potential far beyond what anybody has ever imagined.

GK: That is so beautiful. (BRIDGE) And we fell in love, as so often happens in scientific experiments. I was running a maze and she touched me and I touched her and it was electric. And out of excitement I bit her,
(SS: Ow!) ---- and I never saw her after that. (STING) Eventually I did seek help and medications helped my muskrat problem and now I'm pretty much normal. Still in November (WIND) I remember how lovely it was in the burrow, the three of us all in a pile, snuggled in close (BREATHING, LIGHT SNORING), a family all heaped together. And now I have a little daughter who sometimes migrates in the middle of the night and I wake up and I'm part of a pile of people. Which is nice. If that's what giftedness leads to, then I'm all in favor of it. And welcome to Minnesota, the National Association for Gifted Children.