While driving home from the library yesterday, I was talking to Dowlan on the phone. This, naturally, meant that Charlie must speak to me about a pressing matter that could only be discussed at that moment, without delay.
Charlie: Mommy, are dere imbisible tigers?
Mommy: I'm talking to Daddy right now, can one of your sisters talk to you about this?
C: Dey do not know about imbisible tigers. I dest need to know if dere are tigers dat are imbisible.
M: Not that I've ever seen.
Back to Daddy, if just for a moment.
C: But are dere imbisible tigers dat you've never seen?
M: If they're there, I haven't seen them. They are invisible.
Back to Daddy.
C: Mommy, do imbisible tigers scratch with dere huge, imbisible claws?
M: No, they only tickle bellybuttons.
C: Do imbisible bite with dere sharp, imbisible teef?
M: No, they do not bite little boys named Charlie. They lick you with their big sloppy tongues and give invisible kisses. You might like that about them, really. All their kisses are invisible, not real.
C: But what if one of dem ate me all up?
M: Well, you'd never know, would you? If one of them swallowed you whole, you'd be in their invisible tummy. But you'd still see around and be able to walk and talk . . . hey, you could be inside an invisible tiger's tummy right now and not even notice.
He ponders this. I talk to Daddy.
C: Mommy, dat is dest too silly. Dere is not an imbisible tiger's tummy dat I am in.
Oh, you may think that. But how would you know???