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Sitting in the dark the three year old is screaming.  Alone, terrified, and trembling.  The bedroom door slowly opens and light from the hallway cuts into the darkness there.

The parents come softly into the room and the mother sits on the edge of the bed.

“What’s wrong?”

Crying she tells them what happened…

The moccasin and the fly swatter took me down the mouse’s hole and kept spanking me.   They wouldn’t let me go!

The sensible parents tell her that it is impossible, and it can’t have happened, because a mouse’s hole is too small and she couldn’t possibly fit through.

Still crying uncontrollably, her breath hitching, she knows it was real.  Her parents tell her she needs to calm down and go back to sleep.  Still insisting what happened didn’t, they offer her a drink of water.  She doesn’t want it.

The mother lays her back down, covers her, and says,

“Now, go back to sleep Honey.”

They leave the room and close the door.

It is dark.

~*~