"When is dinner?" I asked my mom."In a few minutes, Mina."What did that mean? Was 'a few minutes' a long time... or was it a short time?
It was a mystery.As a detective, I would have to do some interviews. That meant 'talk to some experts.'
"Mom says it's a few minutes until dinner.""Yeah," said my brother."How long is that?""Three or four minutes."This interview wasn't going the way I'd hoped. I tried again."But how long is a minute?" My brother shrugged.Clearly, he didn't know when dinnertime was, either. Funny, because my brother is always hungry.
I needed to find someone else.
"How long is a minute?" I asked my sister.She pointed to the clock."When the big hand moves right onto the 10, that is one minute.""Okay," I said.
Well, that wasn't much help - I still didn't know what a minute was.I needed to talk to a real expert. Someone who always wore a watch!
"Naina," I said. "How long is a minute?""A minute is 60 seconds," said my grandmother."I see," I said. But I really didn’t. How long was a second?"Jump up!" said Naina.
I jumped."The length of time it took you to jump was one second."I jumped again. And then again. "One second... two seconds... three seconds," I said."Right!" said my grandmother.I was getting it! But there was more."If you jumped 60 times," said Naina, "that would be a minute."
I tried to picture 60 jumps. But, I couldn't.
My stomach growled. I needed to speed this up."What are you doing?" asked Naina.
"I'm jumping faster!""Why?""So dinner will be ready faster!""Sorry," said Naina. "Time doesn't work that way. You can't speed it up."
Too bad! That could have come in handy.
"Remember when you brushed your teeth?" asked my suddenly helpful brother. "Yes." "You brushed them for about a minute," he said. But then he added, "a proper brushing is two minutes, actually!" Brothers! "And when you poured the milk at lunchtime?" My stomach remembered lunch... "Getting the milk and filling all the glasses took you about one minute."
Hey, maybe I was the expert! "What if I run up the stairs?" I asked. "Would that be a minute?" "There's only one way to find out," said Naina. I ran up and down. "Nope, not yet," said Naina, looking at her watch.
I did it again.
"Yes!" said my grandmother. "That was 60 seconds—one minute!" I was about to close this case. "So... a minute is brushing my teeth..." (Or two minutes, to do it properly...) "Or pouring the milk..." "Or running up and down the stairs—twice."
But that still didn’t answer my main question."When is dinner?""Right now!" said my mom.