I woke up to the startling sight of a little boy hovering over me with his nose just inches away from my own.
“Oh!” he cheered, much too loudly, “you awake!”
“Uh huh. Funny coincidence…”
He prodded me with his bony arms and then did a flip in the air and landed with his legs crossed next to me on the bed. He smiled under his mop of hair as it bounced into place as if it were tired of trying to keep up with the little boy. “Me hungry,” he said proudly.
I bet. I could count his little ribs, since all he was wearing at the moment was a pair of Batman underpants.
“Well, here’s a plan. How about you get off of my arm and go see if there is an apple you would like me cut up for you in the kitchen.”
He squirmed painfully on my arm as I struggled to get myself free. “Okay.” He rolled happily over my body and tumbled to the floor then he spun in a dramatic circle and crouched into a super hero pose. “Dad. Me have good news and bad news.”
“Oh, what’s that?”
“Well, if you feed me, I will get hungry. But, If you don’t feed me, I will get REALLY hungry!”
“Oh wow. What’s the good news then?”
He looked confused. “That is the good news.”
“Then what’s the bad news?”
“That is also the bad news.”
We looked at each other for a long time, considering these things. The little boy frozen in his strange fighting pose getting perpetually more and more hungry with every meal, and me, the tired father shaking the feeling back into my arm as I tried to calculate how long I could go on feeding this boy before I went broke.
“How about we just start with the apple and see where it goes from there.”
There was a flash of light as he bolted out of the room, his hair sighed and struggled to catch up to him.