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When the Kids were Little

We got fruit flies! Reminds me of the time . . . The kids were little. Levi was just a wee toddler. We were staying for a couple weeks in a guest room at a certain Bible Institute (which shall not be named) while doing "partnership development." Our room had not been cleaned well, to say the least. EVERYTHING was sickeningly sticky; the walls, the cupboards, but especially the floors (yecchh!). And when we opened the cupboard under the sink, where lurked the garbage receptacle, hordes of fruitflies were let loose from the abyss to drive us to distraction. We were swatting the winged vermin all the live-long day. I decided to enlist the aid of the young warriors God had entrusted to me. I hired my kids at the rate of 15¢ per fruitfly. The one stipulation: they had to produce the carcass of the vanquished insect. I would not be hoodwinked into paying this generous ransom for mere inanimate blots on the wall. Both girls did well and earned a little pocket change. But it was Abel who showed the true instincts of a mighty hunter. I can't say whether it was the testosterone of his budding manliness or just a keener monetary motivation that drove the lad, but my young terminator rose to the challenge admirably and aroused the primeval hunter-gatherer in his proud papa to "sound his barbaric yawp" to the world more than once. It was a glorious thing to behold. Abe was always exceptionally fleet of foot (I actually beat him in a foot race ONCE; but he was ten at the time, and my quads punished me ruthlessly for days afterwards). His steely predator eyes would spot the victim from across the room. Without even a blink, he would rise to his feet craftily, lock eyes on target, and GLIDE; not sprint or run, with near-mythical stealth and speed to the swift execution of his latest kill. I told him the fighter pilots of World War I earned the title "ace" if they shot down five or more of the enemy. Abel was soon to thrash the record of Baron von Richtofen; the infamous "Red Baron," who retired with 80 air combat victories. Before our stay was over, we had not yet run out of fruit flies, but I was fast running low on nickels and dimes! My hunter-ace son took pity on me, and graciously agreed to accept the lesser fee of 10¢ per fruitfly when I pled with him to renegotiate our contract. I've already texted Abel in Milwaukee with the offer of a 66% raise on the original figure if he would come out, revive and recommission that old skill set, and remediate our current problem. For some reason, I think he thought I was joking.

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