Nath had just clamored off the now-purple roof of a municipal steam plant and was sprinting across town to his next chore when a sudden shout stopped him in his tracks.
“Boy!” The urchin turned around slowly to see the mayor staring at him, and he did NOT look amused.”What do you think you are doing with that paint bucket?”
“Wha’ paint bucket?” Nath said as he tried deperately to hide it behind his back. The mayor eyed the purple splotches on Naths hands and clothes and pointed at the barely-hidden bucket “The one behind your back.” Nath looked nervous, “Well, yer see, funny story is…” The mayor urged him to go on with a baleful glance. “I erm, was…erm… touching up the flowers in th’ park? Yeah! Tha’s it! Tha’s exactly wot I were doing.”
The mayor raised an eyebrow. “Touching up… the flowers……with paint…” The mayor glared at the urchin who replied meekly “erm… yeah. ’cause they was gettin’ all faded.”
“I better not get any on my boots. If I do, you will be shining them… every day… for a year. Is that understood?”
“Yessir!” the urchin replied with a series of nervous nods and scrambled off as the mayor gave him one last look and turned to attend to other city matters.