“What’s in the bag?” George asked, as Mum put him down on the step beside the groceries.

“Just wait,” Mum replied.

“Nooooo!” George yelled and put his hand into the bag. He pulled out a bottle of something clear with a clicky top on it. George squeezed the bottle and a few bubbles came out.

“That’s the dish soap Georgie,” Mum told him, “come, I’ll show you a magic trick.”

George got up on the counter, his favourite place to be, and Mum filled a shallow dish with water. George splashed the water until there was none left.

“George, we can’t do the trick if you splash all the water out.”

“Hmph,” George crossed his arms.

“Here are your goggles,” Mum said and George put them on. “Whoa, I can see!” Mum refilled the dish and George sat on his hands to keep himself from splashing. Mum handed George the pepper grinder.

“Now sprinkle some pepper all over the water,” Mum told him. George watched as the pepper sat on top of the water.

“Magic,” he whispered.

“Surface tension,” Mum winked.

“Now here’s the really magical part,” Mum told him quietly. “Put a drop of the dish soap on your finger.” George did it.

“Now carefully touch the water with your soap finger,” she told George.


George dipped his finger in the water and poof! The pepper ran away. Mum gave him more pepper and more soap until the pepper was done dancing. Then she rinsed and refilled the dish and George did his magic trick over and over again.

By the time Dad got home, George was covered in pepper and dish soap. “It’s been one of those days,” Mum sighed, whatever that means.