There is a small box.
Inside the box there is a tightrope.
Balanced on the tightrope is a creature.
The creature is soft and has wide eyes.
It is my job to keep the creature balanced on the tightrope.
I keep the box in the top pocket of my denim jacket.
I wear the jacket when I visit my niece.
In the kitchen, spontaneously, my niece takes my hand and puts it in my sister's hand.
She holds our other hands in her own tiny mitts.
She has just learned Ring a Ring a Rosy.
It gives her - and us - an almost indescribable amount of joy.
One day, she might take two people's hands to re-create this joy, to share this joy, to re-live this joy, and those two people might refuse.
They may even say that they hate Ring a Ring a Rosy, that it is for babies.
I want put my niece into the box, to keep her close to my heart, to keep her safe from the people who might reject her incredible joy.
At this moment, the creature falls off the tightrope.
I wonder if it is dead.
Or just temporarily wounded.