"Why did you let go of the leash?"
"Well, I didn't really let go, he pulled on it real hard and it popped out of my hand. And then he thought it was a game. And me and Gracie were trying to get it but he ran up into Mr. Syke's yard and we couldn't catch him. But then he put his butt up in the air and put his head down and was jumping from side to side, real funny, and Tadin put his foot on the leash, and we got him."
"I'm glad you got him."
"Yeah he's so cute, Ma. I love him so much."
"Can we get another dog?"
"No we can't have two dogs."
"Good heavens, why? Because it's a lot of work, this one isn't even housebroken yet. And what about the cost? We already paid about $300 for this dog with the shots and licenses and neutering and food and everything, and it's only been a month."
"Two dogs would be more fun. Then he won't be lonely."
"He's not lonely, he has you."
"But I mean when we're not home."
"We don't need two dogs knocking over the garbage can if we're gone during the day."
"We could train them not to, Ma."
"We're not getting a second dog."
"What if we move out into the country? On a farm. And we have lots of room and a fence?"
"Can we get some other animals too? Like sheep and cows and stuff?"
"Why stop there? How about camels and zebras and lions?"
"That's a great idea!"
"I'm just yanking your chain, I don't know anything about farm animals, or jungle animals and you have to get up at the crack of dawn to take care of them and you can never go anywhere because they need to be cared for every day."
"We could hire someone if we're not home. Or we could charge money for people to come and see them!"
"You know all the answers."
"Can we get some animals Ma? How about a gecko? They lick their eyes and they're really cute. Andrew has a gecko. He has iguanas and bearded dragons and a snake too. His mom has to buy mice to feed the snake. Or dead rats. They keep them in the freezer."
"No thank you."
"But Ma, it would be cool. Andrew loves reptiles. He says they're cool. They're really easy to take care of. "
"It's all money, honey."
"Well Ma, I could save up, I could cut lawns or rake leaves."
"You won't even clean your room, how can you have a business? Hey, why don't you rake your room?"
"If it was my own business I'd do it."
"Prove to me you can keep your room clean and we'll talk about outside jobs."
"Andrew cuts lawns."
"Yeah, well, talk to your father about it."
"Aw, he'll just say no."
"He might not. But if you use his lawn mower he might not be so keen on it, because you're not famous for taking care of stuff. Every time you borrow his calculator he never sees it again for weeks."
"Yeah, but this would be my business."
"You never return his scissors either."
"Yes I do, that was Tadin who never returns them."
"It was you, too."
"Ma, can I build Bogey a dog house?"
"That would be a good project."
"Can we go buy tools, can I have a power saw?"
"Yes, and I'll buy you a jack hammer and a shot gun too."
"NO you can't have a power saw. I'd like my son to keep his fingers until he grows up."
"I'd be careful."
"That's what you said about playing with sticks in the yard, and right after you told me that you stabbed your brother on the cheek. One more inch and it would have been his eye. No."
"It was an accident."
"Famous last words."
"What does that mean?"
"It means NO."
"Why do you always say no?"
"Why do you always argue with me?"
"I'm not arguing, I just want to know why you and Dad don't let us do anything."
"Because you're prisoners. And slaves. And we're keeping you to do our will until you've worked yourselves to the bone, and then we're going to send you the glue factory and get new children."
"The real reason."
"That is the real reason."
"Come on Mom."
"Come on Mom."
"Come on Mom."
"Why don't we sit quietly and think beautiful thoughts?"
"I don't know any."
"When we get home I'll give you the white pages and you can pray for everyone in the phone book."
"That sounds boring."
"I'm not kidding. Next time you can't sleep at night I'm going to give you the white pages and you can dig in and pray for the whole city!"
"No it's not, maybe you'll save somebody's life."
"Or fall asleep."
"That's good too."
"Ma, when can we go on a trip?"
"What kind of trip?"
"A big trip. Like we get a big van or an RV and we pack it up with food and stuff and camping stuff and we go all over the place. The mountains. You know."
"That sounds great. Do you have any money?"
"You have all the money."
"Well, why don't you just write a check?"
"Double Ha Ha."
"I love you."
"I love you too, Honey Bear."
Kim lives in Maine, which is lovely, and where she continues her enthusiastic relationship with Art, Music, Nature, Books, Animals, Humor and Trees.