Last night a tiny girl who picks up coins for her sister who’s playing the accordion stopped me on the street. She took my hand and said her sister wanted to talk with me. I said no, thinking she wanted a coin. She said, no, she wants to talk with you. When I kept walking, she spread her legs and barred me at every turn.

I, needless to say, went to talk to the sister. She asked who the little businessman and co. are to me and why they get food from me and what did they eat tonight?

I told her they were my friends. She was skeptical, so I named them. She was impressed. I told her they had tlyudas and potato chips and, because Agostino threw a fit, cookies and cream cones. I explained that It was amazing to see how ice cream can turn an Agostino frown upside down!

As we were talking, the little sister was feeling my belly and legs and digging through my pants pockets. It was an odd experience in the middle of the street, but I mostly ignored it. (There was nothing in my pockets.)

I asked Angel and Aracelli their names and said it was nice to meet them. They asked me if I am a teacher. I said yes and wondered why they would think that.

Angel said, “I want to learn English. I want to go to school. I want some of your hamburger.”  I said it is a delicious hamburger but I am hungry, too. I said I’ll try to find a book for them to read.

I told them I’d see them later. I am glad Aricelli made me stop.

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