Baths on Sunday were terror. There was a rat hole in the corner behind the claw foot tub. I wanted to play but listened for rustling, the sign a rat coming to bite me. Even the baking soda propelled submarine didn’t capture my attention long enough for me to relax. My mother’s assurance the hole was plugged with steel wool meant nothing. The faucet was opposite the wall and after gouging my back several times I had to bathe with my neck exposed to the hole. Still, we had slippers and bathrobes from Alexander’s. I am still not fond of taking baths.

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