Dear Kid,

Turns out that copper and tin make bronze.

You probably knew that, but I didn’t.

There are many documented histories of bronze, but the least commonly known may be the most accurate.

One day, Mrs. Joe Neanderthal was the Parent Representative (and by “representative” I mean enforcer) at the local high school rock throwing competition. Her job was to make sure the rocks were aimed away from other parents (participants had signed a waiver and this was before concussions were invented so no one worried about them) and hand out the prizes.

By the time the meet was over, there were three competitors still standing. Mrs. J. N. dutifully handed out first place (mammoth tusk award), second place (mammoth fur award), but when it came to third place she just couldn’t bring herself to give her own offspring the mammoth dung award and so she invented bronze.

Actually, it was still mammoth dung, but bronze sounded better.

This is the true and accurate reason that third place finishers in the Olympics get bronze medals rather than dung medals.

Love, Mom