The thing in the tree

‘Bon Bon,’ says my 4-year-old nephew, holding a plastic retractable dagger with a pirate ship depicted on the handle in one hand, and a red empty plastic saucepan in the other. It’s Sunday evening at my parents’ house and he is full of boiled potatoes and ice cream.┬áHe is about to start school next week.

‘Yes, Phin?’

‘Do you remember that time we made soup and we looked under the table?’

I have no idea what he’s talking about, though it’s true he’s made me soup of various kinds over the last couple of years (carrot and lemon, strawberry and apple, potato and orange; educational fruit shapes I make him pretend to cook for me, though he is still hazy on the difference between a lemon and a lime). ‘What were we looking under the table for?’

‘I made soup and we were looking for Tushka.’ Continue reading

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