Little Cousin

We’re having Christmas lunch and the little cousin is talking about teachers at his school, and how some of them are awful, and some of them are nice. He shares a story about his Religious Education teacher, who told his class that Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy aren’t real.

“Um,” I say. “Really? Does your Religious Education teacher believe that God is real?”

Little cousin throws back his head and laughs. “Of course!”

“Weird.”

He twigs to my implication, and has a question of his own. “What do you believe in?”

“Nothing.”

“Not even reincarnation? Do you think we just rot and get mouldy?”

“Yep,” I say. “We might be here for, say, 80 years, if we’re lucky. And we can try to have fun. Then we die, that’s it. We only have a short time.”

He thinks about this, and says, “So you’re not a Christian?”

“Nope.”

He looks very, very serious, and speaks very slowly: “Step… away… from… the Christmas… table… Please.”

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