Little Crimes for Little Tots
Things around the house — which small children can do, such as:
- Tying string across top of stairs so adults will trip.
- Setting careful fires, so that someone else will get the blame if possible.
- Rearranging pills in medicine cabinets; sleeping pills into aspirin bottle. Pink laxative pills into antibiotic bottle which is kept in fridge.
- Rat powder or flea powder into flour jar in kitchen.
- Saw through supports of attic trap door, so that anyone walking on closed trap will fall through to stairs.
- In summer: fix magnifying glass to focus on dry leaves, or preferably oily rags somewhere. Fire may be attributed to spontaneous combustion.
- Investigate anti-mildew products in gardening shed. Colorless poison added to gin bottle.
Patricia Highsmith, November 16, 1973; Moncourt, France
(Source: The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith by Joan Schenkar)
“You’re about as weak as this match." Carol held it burning for a moment after she lighted her cigarette. “But given the right conditions, you could burn a house down, couldn’t you?”
Or a city.
Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt (Carol)