Friday, January 20, 2012
Boz and I are having our walk. He sniffs his usual spots, as dogs do. We turn the corner and dusk has ditched us. Dark moseys down the sidewalk. A mom calls her kid to come in. End of day, end of day.
A gaggle of children still plays in a yard. One of them spots us when the street lights come on. "A customer!" she shouts. "Hi! Do you want to buy a free flower ring? Free flower rings for sale!"
"Just one more," calls a mom to whatever kids in the batch are hers, "then you're coming inside." She stands in the doorway, warm light spilling out from behind her onto the porch. I wave to her. She says "hi." She can't wave back because she's holding a baby in her arms.
Five or six children, of varying sizes but all smaller than I am, gather to meet me, discuss Boz and hawk their free flower rings. I ask to see the merchandise.
The children have a tiny table set on the lawn. (It might actually be a footstool.) On it are displayed in orderly fashion about twenty of the loveliest, most aromatic flowers. The kids have coiled the stems into rings.
"Take this one. And this--this is a good one. One for each hand."
"No, two for each hand."
"Do you think Boz wants one?"
"If the lady gets four then Boz gets four."
"Wait," I say, "how much?"
"They're free!" the children squeal. They are so pleased with themselves.
"Free?" I say. "But they're so beautiful." They truly are.
The kids could not be more thrilled that I'm thrilled. I lavish praise on their works and thank them profusely. Mom calls again. "That was the last one," she says, and calls "have a good evening" to me.
Boz and I walk on. I have a dog leash and a full bag of poo in one hand, and eight pretty flowers in the other. I can't believe my good fortune.