The marble has been retrieved

Adelaide was an excellent and attentive mother whose youngest child had only been to the emergency room three times – or was it four – in the last nine months.

‘So if you are going to swallow something,’ Adelaide told her father, who was getting to the age when the parent became the child, ‘make sure it’s metal, because that way it shows up on the x-ray.’

Adelaide took a sip of the tea she had freshly brewed, then peeked a look at the child who hadn’t choked.

‘And make sure it’s round and small so it doesn’t get caught in your throat.’

She took another sip of her tea.

‘And it is a bonus if it is something which makes a clunking sound against porcelain, because you know for sure it’s come out.’

Adelaide turned her tea cup first one way, then the other and hoped she never needed to fish around in the toilet with a skewer again.

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