The face of this child has been altered to protect his identity for his own safety.
I strolled out my front door as I often do in the afternoon to grab some herbs and spy on the neighbours, when I spotted what appeared to be some sort of crime scene. Hiding behind a birds nest and a broomstick, I braved a closer look. I was sleuthing. Which is one who sleuths.
It was as I thought. It wasn’t a violent scene. There was no blood, no broken limbs, no shattered glass … but what I saw that afternoon from the cover of my front porch was equally horrifying.
There stood a young boy with a shovel counting money. A LOT of money. 1 … 2 … 3 … 4 … 5 … 6 dollars. Yes, this kid definitely counted out $6 into his luxurious and possibly imported mitten.
How would such a young child get such luxurious mittens? And $6? It didn’t make any sense. And why was he carrying a shovel? Was it a weapon? Or was he injured and using the shovel as a makeshift cane? Or possibly it wan’t makeshift at all. Possibly shovels were the new Tamagatchi or My Little Pony or whatever kids are collecting these days.
And then it dawned on me (5 hours later). He had shovelled for money. FOR MONEY.
In that moment my world went black and swirling.
You see, the driveway that young boy shovelled, belonged to my neighbour. The same neighbour whose driveway we have been shovelling for the past decade.
We’d been swindled. By a grey haired old lady. We were the victims of crime.
AND WE WERE PISSED.
$6???? For shovelling 1 cm of snow?? And it wasn’t even cold out?
SCREW YOU OLD WOMAN (who makes candies for us every Christmas packaged in pretty boxes with tissue paper).
You know who could use $6?? ME. That’s right! This gal right here at the end of my thumbs. Or the fella! I’m sure he could use $6 too.
So we did the only thing we could do.
We invoiced her.
As for the little boy? After an exhaustive search we found him. He don’t work this corner no more.