“I was thinking about killing you. With a knife,” the little girl says.
“Really. Hmm,” I reply.
“NO, I mean I’m not really going to kill you. You’re a sweet person, but if I did kill you (with a knife) would you be in the hospital or dead?” she asks, flipping the pages of the story book we were reading.
“Well, first off, I’d never let you kill me, but let’s just say you did. I don’t know where I’d be, but you’d be in jail.”
Her eyes widen. “But kids don’t go to jail.”
“Yeah, they do. Juvenile detention is one place they go. So it’s really your choice. You could live with us where everyone loves each other or you could become a killer every time someone doesn’t give you a 5th brownie and land in jail with other kid killers.”
“Oh,” she says. “Well, I would never kill you anyway.”
“Yeah, I didn’t think so because then we couldn’t be friends–obviously. And you’d have no chance with Grant from Kid’s Bop because he seriously wouldn’t date a killer,” I point out.
The little girl mulls it over. “Adrienne, I think I see what your saying. Can we go to the library tomorrow and maybe to Starbucks and I can get one of those cupcakes–you know the red ones . . .”
“Yeah, because I really love them. Didn’t we have fun the last time?”
The little girl flips the pages again (we’d need to work on her handling of library books). “My mom tried to kill my sisters and I had to protect them. Did you know that?”
“Yeah, I heard something about it.”
“She kept our heads underwater in the bath tub and once she taped me to a chair and covered my mouth with silver tape and left me for days. I had to break free to go to the bathroom in the closet.”
I have nothing to say.
“So Adrienne, you know I love you and I would never hurt you. Did I upset you?”
“No, not really. I think I get where you’re coming from. But it’s safe here. See, we covered the windows so the wolves won’t get you, and there’s the dog lying there to protect you. Now what do you do if you’re scared during the night?”
The little girl sighs, plugs in her mp3 player and says, “I’ll knock on your door.”
**INDUCEMENT: With no words required, one person sets up a situation to make another person feel just what that first person feels.