at the fair, the little ones run

At the fair, the fallen autumn leaves are soggy and embedded in the ground. They smell of wood & dampness. I wish I could crunch them underfoot, but this park has been trampled by little feet running to get to the fair. Lights flash all colours under this afternoon sun spelling out the word F-U-N like it’s tired and discoloured, over used. This is what I see.

But my little charge next to me looks on with eyes 16 years younger. He gets three rides and collects his tokens like they’re real gold. The flash of lights within the fair ground puts a new light on the park trapped between London streets. He clambers up the first castle made of air and rubber. Down he slides head first, like he’s eager to catch every moment in his hands. Next two rides involve cars and speed. He goes round in circles on a circuit ringing the fireman’s bell or waving from the window of his truck. And then there’s ‘flairy floss’ (you might know it as fairy floss). We sit side by side on a park bench behind the fair, with the music fading and he shoves pink fluff inside his mouth. His fingers are candy coated, his lips bright red. I can’t help but follow the obvious pro next to me. Soon I’ve got a flairy floss beard, sticky fingers and a sweet tooth.

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