Friday, February 9, 2007

I was walking with Hesperus in our neighborhood the other day, going to a little artisan workshop where they make great leather goods, to pick up a couple watch straps for my old Bulova automatic--I'd sweated through two already, and I was having some made in local ostrich hide, lizard skin, and natural crocodile hide (something I'd never even seen before). This place has got WHOLE crocodile hides up on the wall--you get to pick the part you want! They live in the Niger River, and the folks upstream from here in Mali catch them, eat them, and sell the hides. Anyway, Hesperus had gone with me to order the straps, and when we went back, two of the artisans who had been charmed by her the last time had made her gifts, a little necklace and a child's belt in a pale leather she had admired. As we were walking home, Jennifer called on the cellphone to tell me that Athena had come home really tired and crabby from school and was having a really hard time at home, so we shouldn't show her H's presents today. Hesperus didn't want to hear that, and we argued the rest of the way home. When she told me, in a familiar tone of voice, "You don't know what you're talking about! It's fine! I'm wearing them and that's that!" I said, "You sound just like Great-grandma Marilynn!" (not that she ever said that to me, but it was the tone of voice she used when arguing with grandpa). Hesperus said (in the same tone of voice), "That's because I'm part of Grandma Marilynn, because I'm part of you!"

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