“There’s plenty left,” her mother said, plucking another star from the sky.
“That’s not the point,” Ella replied. She looked at their basket, heavy with stars glowing orange and yellow. “We don’t need so many. We can leave it where it is.”
“To do what? To grow red and ugly and waste away?” Her mother held the sun to her nose, breathed in its fragrance. She sighed contentedly and added it to the basket. “One more won’t hurt.”
Ella scowled. “It’s a waste.”
“What does it matter?”
“It matters,” Ella insisted.
“Oh, does it?” Her mother pinched a planet, blue and plump, from the cosmos. She turned to Ella and held it out to her. “And does this matter?”
Ella looked at the planet, blue dappled with green, tiny between her mother’s fingertips.
“I think it does.”
Her mother scoffed. She squeezed the planet and watched it burst, ripe and wet and sweet.
Ella furrowed her brow.
“Oh, stop pouting,” her mother said, turning away and licking her fingertips. “There’s plenty left.”
(c) Miriam H Harrison