The six-year-old hands a Mars Bar to a homeless man outside the local newsagents.
“What’s your name?” she asks.
“Max,” he says.
Over the next couple of weeks, we see Max frequently and exchange pleasantries and food.
Then, as we pass him on the way to the park, the six-year-old asks if he’d like to play football with us. He says yes.
Thick heavy rain greases the grass and we slide around and tackle and shoot and laugh until we are soaked through and the sun sets.
“We need to go,” I say regretfully, picking up the ball.
“How is Max going to get dry?” asks the six-year-old.
“I’ll be fine,” says Max.
“Yeah, he’ll be fine. Come on.”
We say goodbye and squelch off in different directions.
The next day, we pass Max’s spot. But he isn’t there. Nor is he there the day after, or the day after that.
“We should have helped Max get dry. He was our friend,” says the six-year-old, dropping a Mars Bar on his patch, in remembrance or hope.
The Male Nanny
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