dear wigleaf~

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.

Where does 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."

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