The three-year-old's in the bath here at Chez Nousnous, and I'm telling
a story of Hippo bustin' down Tiger and Monkey's door; that's how
hippos make their entrances. Very Kool-Aid man. But Tiger and Monkey
are happy to have him, they've been waitin' on a friend—very
Mick Jaggar—and the three eat all
the spinach and uhh, orange soda and have to dash to the store, which
creates quite a stir you know, because who's ever seen a Hippo, Tiger,
and Monkey grocery shopping TOGETHER? My word!
And while our hungry friends waddle through produce, encountering the
dropped jaws and whispers of their fellow shoppers, I'm swiping a piece
of toilet paper along the bathroom baseboards, gathering a fine gray
dust—how satisfying, really, to see those tiny ledges whiten,
to see the gray matter deposited on my wad of TP. Into the loo it goes.
all this dust come from? I ask my daughter. I'm indignant!
Mama, look. Tiger's under water, she says, stretched on her belly,
testing her tongue against the side of the tub when she sees I'm not
watching. His mouth is full of soap.
Oh, I say. That's no good…
What's he saying now? Make him talk!
Uh…he can't talk. He's got soap-mouth.
And soon it's time to towel off, time for brush-books-bed. So here we
leave our friends: buying strawberries under the close watch of
strangers, or speechless under six inches of water. A provisional clean
achieved. Until next time.
- - -
Read SF's "After the Flood."
w i g · l e a F