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My niece is getting to the age where she can tell stories. Sort of. Her first attempt was: “One time, a little girl, a man, and a lady. Summer.” And along with that, she’s sorting out who is a good guy and who is bad guy, which basically at this point seems to correspond to how much she likes them. She whispered to me the other day that a couple of teenage girls who were being loud were “bad ladies.” And on Sunday morning, when I came downstairs and found her proudly eating Fruitloops, she told me that “Papa and Loulis are happy on the roos.”

“They’re happy on the roof?” I asked “Why are they happy?”

Because, she said, “they’re good mans. They’re persons.”

I’m not sure if they are good because they’re happy, or they’re happy because they’re good — or if they’re just happy because they’re persons — but after she got dressed I took her outside so she could investigate. Papa, which is what she calls my Dad (her Dad is Daddy) showed her what they were doing. Because, no doubt, he is a good man; a happy man who is willing to pause to explain roofing to a little girl.

That made her pretty happy too.

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