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Oliver Benjamin                            
think my son was the only one who didn’t hump her.”
“Uh-huh,” Bennie replied. His knowing cousin elbowed him in
the ribs.
“So, Sprout and Izzy,” said Colin wistfully, “Bit of an age
difference there.”
“Apparently not,” said Niles, “Here, look.”
He pointed to the photocopied license. “Thirty?” Colin said,
“That kid was twenty-eight when we knew him? How can that be? I
thought he was fifteen.”
“Seems he got stuck somewhere on the road to manhood.”
“And look at that picture. Got quite a beard going on.”
“Our little babies are growing up,” Niles joked. There was a
photograph inside the envelope. He took it out and they all gathered
around to look at it. Izzy and Sprout were standing in front of their
car, an old Thunderbird with tailfins. Sprout cradled little Zara in her
“Awww,” said Dolores.
“She’s quite a looker,” Bernard said.
Though Sprout glowed with health and happiness, she seemed to
have aged. There was weight on her body and darkness around her
Izzy’s tee-shirt sported a new message: E Pluribus Unum.
“Isn’t that written on money?” Bernard said. “What’s it mean?”
Colin said, “It means ‘From many, one.’ It’s the motto of the
United States.”
“Funny,” Niles added, “That’s also the motto of Jamaica.”
Had Yak been there he would have told them this was the motto
of Indonesia as well.
Many of the many were trying to become one with the one.
A beautiful, coffee-colored boy came running into the room,
chasing a cat. The cat had stolen his stuffed dog. The boy was
understandably distraught. It challenged all the sacred cartoon
hierarchies. Niles picked him up and placed him on his lap as he
“You have a lovely son,” Dolores said.
“He’s not mine,” Niles said, “He came with the property.”
“What? Like furniture?”
Niles shook his locks. “You know that old Indian saying ‘We don’t
own the land, we lease it from our children?’ Well, this is the kid
we’re leasing it from. When he’s of age, he’ll get the whole thing.
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