You’ve heard my version of how this village is like a fish bowl, but have you heard Lilly-Anne’s? You’d think it was a fish bowl of cannibal piranhas in her version. I shouldn’t hold her accountable to her childhood self, though. I’m sure she’s grown up since then. A person couldn’t make it as an adult fearing all the things she feared as a kid. She said the Lukas’s place is like the empty castle figurine in the fish bowl, y’know, the fishies swim around and through that little figurine, and maybe there’s a pirate treasure chest there that has a lid that pops open and a skeleton pops out — Lilly-Anne was afraid of that somehow happening in our village, deathly afraid of what she said was a skeleton at the Lukas’s castle. Yet she played like she was a fish all the time — maybe just comes from living on the lake — it was the devil for Gretchen to get her to talk like a human some afternoons, she’d just pucker her lips like a fish and swim around the house, silent, puckering those lips but otherwise dead to the world, vacant-eyed, swimming her arms in front of her as she moved haphazardly around the house. Gretchen told me about it, then I saw it for myself, and when I finally got her to stop acting like a fish — you can’t slap or shake a child that’s not your own, you know — she closed her eyes and I thought she was going to cry, but she said, “We’re all fish. Finnish fish,” she said, and then she started to chant, “Finnish fish. Finnish fish. Finnish fish.” Good lord. Good thing I only had one child. I don’t think I’d have had the patience for more than one kiddo.