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The Redster: Four and three quarters
The Cutester: One and a half

We got burgled about a year ago and the Redster has been fascinated with burglars ever since.

‘Where do burglars live, Mummy?’ she asked once.

‘In trees,’ I said absent mindedly, but that was because I’d heard ‘birds.’ A string of questions about how they got down and did they ever fall out of them uncovered my mistake.

Another time she asked whether God made burglars. Then she announced confidently that there would be no burglars at the Christian conference we’re going to in August. I began to realize that she was grappling with bigger moral issues than a hoody sprinting down our street with our widescreen TV in broad daylight, which incidentally reminded me of a squirrel in Edinburgh which took a WHOLE Marathon bar out of my hand and ran up a tree with it. I was only offering it one nut which I’d dug out carefully with my fingernail. The squirrel looked like a caber-tosser, but it got up the tree, which suggests that some burglars do live in trees.

The Redster, in her sweet way, has stopped asking if we are going to get our TV back and if the burglars are going to jail and is now becoming concerned about the plight of burglars in general.

‘Bath time,’ I said one evening.

‘I can’t go upstairs,’ explained the Redster, ‘because there is no-one to look after my shop.’

‘What about Mrs Nobody?’ (Mr Nobody died in mysterious circumstances about six months ago.)

‘No,’ she said firmly from behind her stock of assorted mega-blocks.

‘It’s closing time anyway,’ I pointed out.

‘But this is a shop for burglars,’ she said. ‘So it has to be open at night in case they get hungry.’

‘That’s nice of you,’ I admitted.

‘Yes. And they can pay, or they can help themselves,’ she added. ‘I don’t mind which.’