Outside the supermarket, they gather at a giant cardboard box filled with watermelons. They tap on each one and explain the connection between the sounds and the quality of the fruit. The lesson soon gives way to the pure enjoyment of listening to what a watermelon sounds like when a small fist is knocking on it.
There's no other sound in the room but his beautiful voice expressing contrition.
At the veterinary hospital, the animals that are unwell are tucked into back rooms, while in the lobby, a large healthy pug trundles around like a greeter. He belongs to one of the staff, but carries himself with a proprietary air, as if he owns the building.
How have these two teenaged girls spent their afternoon? The evidence is on the table: homework, novels open facedown, a dog-eared fashion magazine, and a game of Risk Europe in progress.
The violinist bends like a tree lashed by a storm, the wind singing through her.
The second movement of Dvorak's New World Symphony is one of the most beautiful pieces of music. It's a reassurance that, one way or another, all will be well.
The dog is shaky and crosses the room in tentative steps, her head down as she settles on my lap.