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'It's a Daedalus!'

Part 1

November 24, 2003|Mel Gilden | Special to The Times

At lunchtime, Herman and his friend Peggy watched the sky while they ate.

"It's a Daedalus," Herman cried. "My favorite."

"Are you sure?" Peggy asked as she squinted at the fast-moving spot in the sky.

"I'm sure," Herman said. "If there's one thing I know about, it's flying cars."

Peggy sighed. "Every family has one except mine," she said. "We're still creeping along on the ground."

"My family doesn't have one either," Herman reminded her.

After lunch, Herman couldn't wait to tell his teacher. "I just saw a Daedalus," he said excitedly.

"It's amazing how Traffic Control manages all those flying cars," Ms. Hofstedder said.

"The technology came from cellphones," explained Herman. "Each car has a different serial number so Traffic Control can guide it."

"Is that so?" Ms. Hofstedder said and smiled.

"Yes," Herman went on. "My dad says that as soon as they work out the bugs, he's going to buy one. I hope it's a Daedalus."

"That's a funny name for a car," Peggy said.

"Actually, it's a cool name," said Herman. "Daedalus was... "

"Why don't you explain it to the whole class?" Ms. Hofstedder asked.

That afternoon, Herman got to tell everyone who Daedalus was and why they would name a car after him. He was a little nervous at first, but most of the kids seemed really interested.

"Daedalus was a builder and inventor in Greek mythology. When an evil king held him prisoner, Daedalus made a pair of wings from feathers and wax and escaped by flying away. Cool, huh?" Herman asked.

Even Ms. Hofstedder agreed that Daedalus was a very cool dude, and deserved to have a flying car named after him.

After school, Peggy walked home with Herman. "That was really cool, explaining all that stuff about why Daedalus is a good name for a flying car," she said.

"Thanks," Herman said. "Now all I have to do is convince my parents we should get one."

*

Tuesday: Can Herman convince his parents they need a flying car?

This story will be on The Times' Web site at www.latimes.com/kids.

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