"Who wants me to read them a book?" John asked, waving a box around. "It costs seven dollars."
I was making supper. Maia was hanging on me, mermeling and with snot dribbling from her nose. It was a bad time to hear a book.
"Seven dollars, eh?" I said.
"Yes! Look at the box." It was a piece of styrofoam with a hollow in it. On it, he had written "7 dallrs" -- the cost, incidentally, of a pair of spurs for sale at the pharmacy in town, a pair of spurs at the top of his Christmas list.
"Hmmm. I like it when you read to me! I love it more than anything! But you know, I don't have seven dollars to hear a book."
He ran off and I messed around some more with supper.
"Who wants to hear a book read to them for five dollars?"
"Hmmm. I'm not sure I'm willing to pay five dollars."
He stops hopping on one foot and says, "Well, what WOULD you be willing to pay?"
"OK, a dollar."
I found a stopping place, and we sat down on the couch. He read "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" to me, complete with interpretive narration: "I always felt sorry for that dog, because he didn't get a pancake...do you see the guy in the tornado?"
When I was done, I handed over the dollar. He put it in the box and smiled. "Who ELSE wants to hear a book read to them?"