You are hereby charged with the following diminutive crimes and shall be called upon to make recompense if guilty.

Firstly you stole my heart: you cuted me out and bent me insistently to your will until I found myself lying on the floor, playing with your toys and speaking your language.

You stole food off my plate. Time after time I wondered where the butter had gone—and wondered how you had grown so tubby.

You pilfered my fluffiest jumpers to make yourselves nests. You took my scarf to pull your snow-sledge. You commandeered Daddy’s watches to wear proudly on your arms, and you appropriated my pink bed-socks to dress your teddy bears.

You removed hair-clips from my head for miniature mediaeval weaponry, and ruined my kitchen scissors for whatever you were doing in the garage. You took my best silver ink-pen to write stories about seals and spaceships. You committed fraud, declaring at random intervals that your toys were having a birthday and I had to give out presents.

And, for my part, I have abstracted a hundred crayoned works of art and a hundred misspelled masterpieces of literature. I have stashed my swag in a cupboard you know nothing about, and I treasure them as mine.

Case withdrawn.

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