But this year, enjoying his birthday treat at a crowded ice cream shop, a child of 4 wasn’t fooled by him. She saw him as he really was—a red-skinned, horned, cloven-hooved, trident-tailed devil. He realized it too. “Hey, kid,” he whispered to her, “even Lucifer has to have ice cream sometimes. So let’s keep it quiet, okay?”
She regarded him for a moment with her head cocked to one side, then pointed at him with her tiny index finger, and his ice cream cone melted suddenly down his arm. He stomped his cloven-hoof mightily and then vanished in an angry flash.
The little girl smiled, then changed back into the cherub she really was, and flew blissfully back up to Heaven, one more good deed done.