I left Ellie, reluctantly because she still stared at the seat, for the front row that Amanda guided me to. There Mildred and Mikey were still working.
“When did you learn the grandmother’s name?” Nikki asked.
“Later, but you wanted to know her name now, so I put it in now.”
“I give up. Continue.”
Mikey had his tongue out of one corner of his mouth and an intense look of concentration as he slowly looped the needle between the doll and the head. It was slow going. He still had most of the head to sew on, but they’d only been at it for twenty minutes or so.
“Good, Mikey. You’re doing so good!” Mildred encouraged.
“It’s hard.” Mikey said, not as a complaint, though.
“It’s a man’s job,” I smiled.
Mildred laughed at that. “Tell that to my husband!”
“I’ll be sure to do that. Anything I can do for you?”
“Yes,” Mildred smiled. “This young man has been working hard, and deserves a treat. I have some gingerbread men in my bag. Could you get them for me?”
I fished around in the overhead compartment according to her instructions and located an old Tupperware filled with neat stacks of gingerbread men.
I passed one to Mikey, who tore into it immediately, decapitating the man.
“Do you think this is his pattern?”
“Decapitating a gingerbread man is going to happen no matter what. I don’t think it’s cause for alarm in a kid.”
“You do the same, don’t you?”
“How else do you make him chase Ichabod Crane?”
“You’re baiting me again, aren’t you? You know full well that gingerbread men have nothing to do with Sleepy Hollow.”
“I don’t have to admit to knowing that.”