I was decorating the Christmas tree with Clara and Winton last night.
Every year I make one out of construction paper and tape it to the large, tall, empty china cupboard (salvaged from a dumpster; doors painted shut; why do we never have time to unstick them?). I then cut out shapes (yellow stars, red balls, white snowflakes) and the kids glue them onto the tree when not murderously arguing with each other over who gets to stand on the step-stool or tripping over Pepita as she tries to pull decorations back off.
In the midst of the festivities/ acrimonies, a knock at the door.
Behold, a girl. Eight perhaps? "How much for the fish?"
Girl: "How much for the fish?"
Me: "I don't sell fish."
Girl: "The fish on your back porch. How much?"
Me [thinking: why the hell does she want my Haligonian fish, made of an antique fishing buoy and scrap metal??]: "It's not for sale."
Me [closing door]: "It's not for sale."
Husband: "You should have sold it. At least then we'd get some recompense. Now she'll just take it when we're at work."