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Most days I come in from work to a stampede of children vying to launch themselves at my legs while giving me the latest news.

Except one: Esme is caught up in a stampede of one, tripping over herself to give me a daily gift of pictures or flowers.

It's always the same flowers, pink and blousy, stolen from the bush by the gate.

The neighbour's bush, lovingly tended, and punished for having the temerity to poke through the fence.

The script is always the same,

"Mama! Look! I've got FLOWERS! For YOU!"

"Have you darling?! Oh thank you!"

And her small face, looking up at mine and grinning ear to ear at my reception of her slightly battered gift.

In truth I'm only half humoured her, because as second hand as they are, her flowers are beyond beautiful in my eyes.

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