Gordon Lester
The Mouths of Babes

I had recently moved into a house on a tree-lined, dead-end street in a quiet part of town and was working on a project in the office I’d set up in the family room when the doorbell rang.

I was surprised. I hadn’t met any of my new neighbors, I wasn’t expecting anyone from work, and everything had been delivered, installed, or transferred into my name.

Who could it be?

I peeked through the peephole and saw no one standing on the porch. I had left the TV on in the front room, so I decided the sound must have come from there.

I’d no sooner settled back down and picked up where I’d left off than I heard the sound again.

I glanced at the television on the way to the door.

There could be no doorbells ringing in old Dodge City, but there was still no one visible when I peered into my looking glass.

In this case, the third time really was the charm — for some reason, I finally opened the door and, lo and behold, before me on the stoop of my new home stood two girls who might have stepped right out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

The taller of the two, who seemed to be about eight years old, came right to the point.

“Do you have any kids that we should know?”

“I’m sorry,” I replied. “I never had any children.”

“Don’t be sorry,” she scolded. “It’s probably not your fault.”

Gordon Lester teaches English and Appalachian Studies at Big Sandy.



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