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Meron Pan

   My son came into the kitchen where I was making my morning coffee, opened up the fridge and said, “I want meron pan.”

   Meron pan is a kind of sweet bun that is popular in Japan and these days the kid can’t get enough of it.

   “You want melon bread? I asked, correcting his English. I can be annoyingly persistent about this, but, hey, the boy speaks English pretty well considering that it is an uphill battle against Japanese that we are waging.


   “Do we even have melon bread?”


   “Really? Well, I don't know where it is,” I said. “Would you like some of this bread? I got it at Paul. It's really good . . .”

   “No! Melon bread!”

   “Ask your mother.”

   Just then my wife entered the kitchen. My son told her in Japanese that he wanted meron pan.

   “We’re don’t have anymore,” she replied, also in Japanese.

  “We do, too.”

   “No, we don’t.”

   “Mama, did you end up eating it?” (Mama, tabechatta no? in Japanese.)

   “Ah!” Red flashed in my wife’s cheeks. “I’m sorry.”

   Yu-kun took the news surprisingly well and went back to playing in his room. When my wife and I were alone, she said, “How in the world did he know?”

   “He’s my son.”

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