‘It’s just a stage he’s going through,’ she says to the other mothers. ‘Yesterday, he ate two earthworms, an earwig, and the dog’s dinner.’
‘Mum. Look. Tasty lolly.’ He plucks the mouldy seed pod by its stem from the path and stuffs it in his mouth.
Long silence. Delayed reaction. Family mutt slinks off under the park bench, trembling. Mum moves in slow motion towards her son, through a force field of invisible treacle.
Ploff. An explosion of spores.
One nappy draped over tree branch. No more toddler. Just a furry grey monster toddling off into the bushes, ploffing with delight.