On a shaggy green rug my sister and I play at building ranches. She is in charge of the main house, fences, corrals, barns and horses. My domain includes roads, driveways, garages, gas stations, cars and trucks, and - before it is lost - a silver helicopter. We work intently, putting all in order. We make lives with clear routines revolving around feeding horses and gassing up the car. But the fun is in setting things up, and once most of this is done, the faintest hint of boredom brings a storm. We announce it in voices that sound to us like those of our parents: "Storm's coming, better get those horses in. Get going, now!" "Help me get everything into the storm cellar!" "I'll put the car in the garage!" Then, like a lashing belt, a tornado comes, and another, sending barn and house and fences in a loose scatter to the far reaches of the rug.
For a moment, afterward, all is quiet. "Look," my sister says. "A horse and the little girl are still alive." "And the little boy," I say. "He's too young to drive, but there's nobody left to say he can't and the car is fine."
I set up the main road. She rounds up the animals.