This is my niece, Alana. She turned four this past weekend.
She was at my house this past week, with Abi, her older sister. They were helping me with my chores in the kitchen. First we snapped up a five gallon bucket full of string beans. As I was working on hot packing them in the jars and getting ready to break out the pressure canner, I said:
"Okay - once I get this canner going, we're going to work shelling that big bag of pecans Grandma gave me that I never shelled! Whoo-hoo!" (Trying to make it sound like a fun thing and not a tedious chore I've been dreading for weeks.)
Abi: (In a mopey tone) "Oh, yeah. Yay." (We were going to do it with just the hand-held, metal nut crackers that everyone has.)
Alana was rooting around in my pantry, though.
"What's that?" (Points to my 1940's model citrus squeezer; a treasure I found in the back barn.)
"Oh, that's a thing for squeezing the juice out of grapefruits and oranges. See that handle there? It mashes the orange there, and juice comes out there, and goes into a glass there."
"Oh. Is it old?"
A few minutes later, she picked it up and set it out on the (temporary) kitchen work table. I thought she was just fooling around with it.
Then I heard a nut crack and watched as the little thinker started cracking pecan after pecan, using the cirtus squeezer. Abi and I just looked at each other and grinned. We never would have thought of that! By jove! I think she's got it!