A Hot Breakfast
"There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child.
There are seven million."
Walt Streightiff

A Hot Breakfast 
One of my earliest memories happened at breakfast when I was about two and a half. My dad was out of town on a business trip, and my sister and I were having our breakfast with my mom. I was sitting in my high chair, as usual, at the kitchen table.

My parents loved antiques and we had a round oak table in the kitchen, where we ate breakfast and most all of our meals. It was covered with a tablecloth, designed with brightly colored flowers. My sister must have been about five. It was a school day, and my mom was hurrying to get us fed, in order to get my sister off to kindergarten.

My mom put a piece of bread in the toaster, which was on the other side of the table. Then she heard the trash truck coming down the street. My dad had asked her to be sure to put the trash cans out the night before, and she had forgotten. She jumped up, telling my sister to watch me and ran outside to take the trash cans to the street before the workers got there. Well, the moment she went out one door, Mary Ellen, being an active kid, went out the other.

And I sat there alone eating my oatmeal; that is, until something strange began to happen. Smoke started to come out of the toaster. At first, it was just a little wisp, but it caught my attention. It went straight up like one of those ropes in the cartoons that comes out of a snake charmer's basket. As I watched it, the smoke grew darker and wider. Pretty soon, smoke was coming out from under the toaster too. And that's when the table caught on fire.

Luckily, I wasn't that close to it, so I just kept watching it to see what would happen next. Suddenly, I heard a terrible scream, which scared the heck out of me, and my mother came running into the room and grabbed me out of my high chair. She unplugged the toaster from the wall, ran to the cupboard and grabbed a big pitcher. She filled it with water and threw the water on the fire, as horrible hissing sounds and a great plume of white smoke filled the room.

I didn't get my piece of toast that morning. And for quite a while after that, if you looked under the tablecloth, which I did often, you could see a big black spot where the toaster had been.
- Hank Frazee, Author of  Referral Upgrade   and  Before We Say "Goodnight"
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