It is the phrase no parent nor marble collector wants to hear: "She swallowed the marble."
But today I heard it after one of my old marbles began an extraordinary journey today into the mouth of my daughter's five-year-old friend. That's right, she swallowed the marble. I was alarmed for an instant and concerned for her health, but at the same time I was desperate to know what the marble looked like.
Was it swirled, I asked?
"No," my daughter answered. "It was clear and small and orangish."
Phew! I knew that meant two things. First, the marble was a small puree that would easily find its way back into the world, and second, because it is just a puree I am quite content to let her keep it.