6 May 2014


I was left in charge of two very small children in a cafe. Two very small children I did not know, and had never met before, which might seem dangerously neglectful of the mother, whom I did not know and had never met before either.

The harassed mother asked if she and her children might sit with me in the only three seats remaining, as I sat occupying one seat at the table for four. I agreed that they could all sit with me, but then no sooner had the lady got her children settled in their seats than she jumped up and asked me to 'watch them' for her as she went up to the counter.

Not really reckless behaviour, given that she was only ever about ten yards away, but suddenly there I was without much choice in the matter sitting facing a boy and a girl, both aged less than five, I guessed, with me looking at them and them looking at me.

They were both smiling, and while I wondered what I was meant to do, they both said, 'Hello'.

So I said, 'Hello,' then after a little awkward pause while their smiles beamed up at me I added, 'You two look very happy.'

'We like being happy,' said the girl, just before the boy nodded his head up and down vigorously and declared, 'Yes we do!'

'Oh... I said,' thinking a bit, before adding, 'So do I.'

 And so we made limited conversation for a while, until their mother returned.

Then the little girl pointed at me and told her mother, 'That man likes being happy,' causing the lady to mumble something inaudible and look at me rather strangely.


Claude said...

Isn't it guaranteed by the constitution, somewhere in the world?

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

That may be the constitution of North Korea, I think, but I have never been to check.

Elephant's Child said...

Out of the mouths of babes...