Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages! For my next trick, I will perform a wondrous feat of seeming impossibility: I will make a small boy disappear! No mirrors, no smoke, no boxes with hidden compartments!
“Then how?” I hear you ask. “How will you perform this miracle? How will you make a 29-pound boy vanish? It cannot be done!”
To you disbelievers, I say: have faith! It can be done! For I have in my magic bag a special shield of invisibility, brought all the way from England by the small boy’s doting grandmother:
“But!” you say: “That is just an ordinary cardigan sweater!”
An ordinary sweater. An ordinary cardigan sweater. To you, maybe. But look closely: those stripes of pink have magic properties. They can bend gender. They can make a small boy disappear, magic him into a girl! Watch: All he has to do is put it on, and he’s gone! At daycare, at the park, at the airport, at the store, restaurants, everywhere he goes, when he wears that sweater, he disappears! “How old is she?” people ask. “Give the little girl a turn now,” they tell their children. “She had a good nap today,” says the new daycare worker. “Would she like a cookie?” says the woman behind the bakery counter.
Yes, yes she would.
And I nod and smile, wondering when, exactly, a boy in a pink sweater will be visible, legible, to the naked eye.
When he will be safe.
And … he’s gone.