By the City of Oslo

“By George, it’s enormous!”

“Quit using my name in vain, would you?” Martha was due to be back soon, she’d quiet Mary down.

“No, really,” she pulled my arm. “Come look at this magnificent Christmas tree! I want to build a tree-house on it and live there!”

“Live where you like; but stop that noise.” She clambered onto my desk and sat like a worker on strike. “Don’t sit on my writing-table: you’ll break it.”

She ignored me and swung her legs. “I could ask the decoration people to build it. And then I could lay in there and listen to the carols.”

I pulled her off the desk. “It’s just a plant – a plot to extort money by way of threats for all the unfortunate people. Anyhow, there’s no good bothering now. It’s too late.”

“Still, there wasn’t one at Trafalgar Square. They’ll think about it next year, right? You’ll help me ask them because you love me, right father?”

A good friend of mine says that ‘all this irritation is purely subjective.’ I still think he’s lying. “Of course I do, you little fool.”

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