This morning, I asked David (age 7) to fold napkins.
Ben said: “Hello, Tom, you got to work, hey?”
Sam (age 3) observed the folding.
“Oh come, now, you don’t mean to let on that you like it?”
The brush continued to move.
“Like it? Well, I don’t see why I oughtn’t to like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?”
David: Hey, Sam, stop messing with the napkins!
That put the thing in a new light. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom swept his brush daintily back and forth – stepped back to note the effect – added a touch here and there – criticised the effect again – Ben watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed. Presently he said:
“Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little.”
Sam: Show me how.
"Oh come, now – lemme, just try. Only just a little – I’d let you, if you was me, Tom.”
David: Okay, here's how you fold the napkins...
The rest, as they say, is history.
Sam folded the napkins.
Tomorrow we whitewash the fences...