I unroll a world map, just like the one in the story. Our knees hold the edges down as we huddle around the colorful shapes of our nations. Fingers point toward home: Finland, France, Estonia, Seattle, Holland, Uzbekistan…some of us don’t know where to place home.
“Where’s Japan?’ bellows N. Fingers cover the islands.
“Yes, but it’s not really there anymore,” announces A. “It should be more over here,” and she drags her finger across the Pacific Ocean. I confirm her assertion, “Yes, it’s said that Japan moved during the earthquake. It was that big! It was the fifth largest earthquake in history.”
“I want to know where the biggest earthquake was,” N’s inquiry explodes the moment. His body pulls away from the map. With a nod from me, he heads for the computer. It turns out Japan’s earthquake is the fourth largest, and in 1950 Chile had the largest earthquake. Before I can learn how big the earthquake was, N is onto a new quest: the largest tsunami – Lituya Bay, Alaska. His inquiry has drawn an audience, and we are all clustered around the computer when the bell rings.
“Ahhhh!” they groan. “Just one more question?!”