Ari Enna-Branse is at work, or possibly at play, teaching a dozen children experimental design in the school chemistry lab, and her husband is out of town at a conference.
"Put here yes!"
She holds open the pouch for Petal to put it in. "Oh, hm, can you make these?" she asks, tapping one of her brass fingernail-caps with another.
"Don't know can make," she tries to say.
"You don't know if you can make it? Okay." She tries to come up with a way to say 'I want to see what happens if you make two more rocks and then merge them' that's comprehensible and not overly pressure-y and runs into a different question. "Do you want to make some things more than other things, or are all things you can make-from good?"
"Good make petals," she says, unsurprisingly. "Good make... things. Make things, good make other things. Good make things, good merge things."
Well, that's very convenient because Ari wants to see more making and merging of things! "What does merging things make? Do you know before you do it?"
Tiny headshake. "Don't know. Merge thing, see thing, know thing."
"Well, we can merge more things and find out, then!" She also really wants to take apart some of the merged seeds and also try planting one, but both of those seem like big asks when it's so tiring and the latter should wait for something fast-growing.
On the other hand, maple seeds have two pieces. She picks up the maple seed and asks, "If this broke apart into two pieces," careful and nondestructive miming, "could it still merge?"
Wide-eyed blinking. "Don't know!" she says. "Find out? Experiment!"
"Yes! Let's experiment! Can you make another and then we'll have more than three bits?"
Thinkythinkythinky. This is a complicated situation, and she may need to delve into the dreaded realms... of verb tenses.
"Experiment:" she declares. "Ari will break apart seed. Petal will look at bits. Petal will say merge yes no! Petal will..." hang on, she's hit a snag. "Experiment: Petal will sleep. Ari will break apart seed. Petal will look at bits. Petal will say merge yes no. Petal will make seed from tree. Ari will break apart bits. Petal will put bits on floor. Petal will merge. Find out merge!"
"A very good experiment! I will wait while you sleep."
She flops cozily onto the floor.
Slightly more than twenty minutes and she's up!
"Ex" (yaaaaawn) "periment!" she says excitedly.
"Experiment!" Ari agrees gleefully, then breaks the two halves of the maplespinner apart and holds them out for inspection.
Petal peers carefully at both of them, then shakes her head. "Merge no," she diagnoses.
"Alas. I will not break any more. But I will cut this one up later and look at what's inside." And send it and a control sample to a gene-sequencing-by-mail outlet, but she doesn't have the vocabulary in place to explain that.
"Experiment?" says Petal.
"Yes. I want to see if I can find any difference between this and one you didn't make."
She trails off confusedly, but then shakes herself a little and flumphs onto Ari's shoulder. A cozy perch.
Awww, sweetie. Ari can stand perfectly still for twenty minutes. What a precious baby.
After a little less than twenty minutes, she's up again.
"Make-from rock!" she announces, and goes to do that. The same one she got the initial pebble from, in fact. It yields a second identical pebble.
Ari goes and finds a different rock! "If you make-from this rock and make-from that rock will they merge with each other?"