It’s just the three of us: Finn, Noah, and me. They’ve assigned superhero names to the family, and I’m Captain Library. Noah told me and waved toward my bookshelves with his spoon.
‘That’s why, Nanny, because you have too many books.’
I agreed, but not that there are too many because there’s no such thing. They look at me politely. (Maybe Captain Library isn’t very powerful.) I must have looked doubtful because they assured me that he is powerful.
‘He’s strong and looks after all the books.’
I point out that you can’t get rid of libraries because they just come back, so Captain Library is possibly the most powerful superhero of all. They look at me politely again and keep on eating.
I ask for their superhero names and they fill me in seriously.
‘Finn is Hulk. I’m Black Panther. Max is Falcon, Abbey powers the Falcon, and Great Grandpa is Iron Man.’
Finn says, ‘I’m Hulk, but not yet.’
I ask them about their mum and dad.
‘Who are they? What’s their Superhero names?’
‘Mum’s Black Widow.’
‘Pa is War Machine.’
‘Dad’s 29, and he’s Batman. Mum’s older, but sometimes dad’s 29 and older. Dad’s got new garden equipment.’
Finn says, ‘I’m Hulk, it came yesterday.’
‘My best friend is Max and Gracie.’
Finn says, ‘My best friend is Max’.
‘Max got kicked in the eye by a bird. The bird kicked a berry in his eye. When he was digging his trap.’
I asked them how they knew about that. I remember Max telling me about it. A bird (last week) had deliberately kicked a mulberry right in his eye and on purpose when he was digging a bird trap under the mulberry tree. After a solid day’s work the trap was half an inch deep and going well. He plans for the trap to catch either a million birds or fifty.
Noah told me they had blackberries at their house and birds got them, and mum said she’d get those birds so they couldn’t do it anymore.
I asked how she might get them.
‘Mum’s a sower like Rubee. That’s why.’
I agreed that this might be effective.
‘And Elsa’s got a good bike but kids can’t ride it yet.’
‘I can’, said Finn, but Noah corrected him.
‘You need muscles. You need a muscles to get on it and get birds. Like in Max’s trap.’
Then they were quiet and eating for a while. Tapping spoons and wondering about dessert. Eyes lidding downwards. They told me that the windows were changing colour. They reminded me they were sleeping over and that Max might come over.
Finn asked me if I had a dinosaur, and Noah said that his friend Mylo has a Margo, who was little in their family, like a sister.