The young detective strode confidently into the hallway holding a small notepad and a mechanical pencil. She saw me sitting on the floor where I had recently finished adjusting her sister’s pants. Wrestling with the little girl had worn me out to the point that I had yet to find the strength to stand up again.

“Ah. Hello Sir!” the new arrival said as she bent over me. “Do you have a mystery you would like me to solve?”

I leaned my head back against the wall and glanced around with my eyes while she tapped on her tablet with her pencil.

“Okay, Clara.” I said finally deciding to play along. “Yes. I would like to know about this wadded up ball of packaging tape that is sitting on the floor of my bedroom hallway.”

She knelt down and examined the ball of tape and made a humming sound. “This is a mystery.” she agreed.

And then she set to work. “Okay. We need to answer the questions of Who, What, When, Where and Why.” She said this to herself as she rolled the roll upside down and began peeling it apart.

I watched her intently as she recreated the possible scenarios in her mind. She slowly traced a line across the floor with her eyes, walked into the adjacent nursery and turned on the lights. She looked around the room and made a small note on her pad of paper.

“I think it came off of this box over her.” She announced to me, crossing the room. “Whoever did it probably peeled the tape off of this, because the paper on the tape is the same color.” She walked a circle around the box. “Mom got this box yesterday, so they must have done it last night before you got home from work.” She made another note.

I was truly impressed so far.

Tapping the pencil against her cheek she looked from the box to the hallway several times. “And I think after peeling the tape off, the person probably used the tape to attack her sister. She probably chased her around the room over there and tried to stick the tape in her hair.” With this she looked at me down the tip of her nose and made another note on her pad with an angry flourish.

I was amazed by her deductive reasoning. “Wow, you have determined all of that just by looking at the ball of tape and looking there in the nursery?”

She walked back to the hallway and looked at the ball. “Yes.” She said absentmindedly and then made a final note in her tablet while saying, “And it’s a ball because they threw it at their sister while they ran to get their mom. This is where it landed.” She sat next to the ball and poked it with her pencil.

“Huh.” I shifted to a kneeling position next to her. “So, detective, who was this culprit, so that they can be brought to justice?”

After a moments hesitation she handed me the pad of paper. The chilling twist of fact stabbed into my spine as I read her notes. Scrawled across the page in large upper case letters was a single word: “CLARA”. The detective had not been solving the crime after all. They had been confessing to it.