The little sweater was pink, with an attached hood. Natalie imagined how it would look with the white dress with tiny pink flowers. Her box full of baby clothing—white high-top shoes, duck-printed onesies, more pastel dresses—was just waiting for a new baby to wear them.

But she’d been told, gently but with no room for doubt. “I’m sorry. I know you were really hoping, but we just can’t afford one right now. Natalie…sweetheart…I love you.”

She fingered the intricate stitches of the sweater, then sighed. “Okay,” she said. “But…mommy, can I have a hippopotamus, then?”

[If you enjoy stories like this, you’ll find 366 of them in my book, Stolen Postcards. You can pre-order it here: Stolen Postcards on Amazon ]

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