Forget the snips and snails that little boys are made of -- I can vouch that little boys are at least 90% lightning. I turned around and Jack was gone. I looked through the aisles for the wandering lad and found him at the checkout line where a woman was buying him the red motorcycle. I ran up and she explained that she wanted to buy the dollar toy for Jack and that Jack did not ask her to buy it. It seems that Jack went to the checkout line with the toy, found a sympathetic-looking woman, went up to her and said, "I've been a good boy all year." She told me that since Jack had been such a good boy, she wanted to reward him with the toy, adding that he was sooo cute.
So the three of us (Jack, myself, and the newly-purchased motorcycle) -- and after thanking the woman -- went of in search of Kitty, who was somewhere in the store loading up the cart with gew-gaws and jimcracks. I told her what had happened and we were both feeling somewhat embarrassed when we noticed that Jack (he of the lightning feet) was gone again. He was back at the checkout counter with another strange woman who was buying him the toy binoculars! On top of that, she added a four-inch lollipop! Again, he had not asked her for anything. By the time we got there she was telling him that she was proud he had been so good and that he should try to continue being good all the way to Christmas.
We hustled him out of the store before he could hustle another customer.
And then I remembered an incident from a year ago. Jack (then three) and I were sitting on a bench near the registers at Wal-Mart, waiting for Kitty who was buying gew-gaws and jimcracks. Jack was busy waving and smiling and saying hi to everyone, when a stranger came up and asked me if he could give Jack something, explaining that Jack just looked sooo cute and was sooo well-behaved. He gave Jack a large red toy truck and gave me the receipt and walked off. It was a $14 toy.
This stuff only seems to happen when I'm with Jack.
Now, at four years of age, Jack has discovered the secret to success and I'm sure his future career as a panhandler will be a stellar one.
I just don't know if Jack's parents will ever forgive me.