“Why?” She had asked, tiny sunlit face peering up past the hand holding hers.

“Because doggies don’t know how to talk, bumpkin.” He had said it through a grin as wide as she was tall.

“Why?” She had had no intention of letting it up that easily, even though he could hear the giggles starting in her voice.

“Hmmmmm… because their tongues are too long?” He had barely been able to contain himself.

“Daddy! Long tongues make you better at talkiiiiiii!” She had erupted into happy squeals as he swept her up on his shoulder.

“Why?” He had riposted, tickling her belly.

“Eeee beeecause… eeeeHEEEhee… they do! Haaheeehaaaha!” Tears had leaked from behind her shut, smiling eyes.

“Why?” He had asked through his own laughs. “Why, hmm bumpkin? Why?”

“Why?” He whispered. Tears leaked from behind his shut eyes and were washed away by the rain. “Why, bumpkin? Why?”

The tiny grave had no answer.

He could not stop asking.

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