Sr. Thuy was in the pantry shifting things around.
"How are you, Sister?"
She stood up and made a face such as I have never seen her make, a curious mix of disgust and resolve, the kind of face only holy people can make and still look pleasant.
"We have a creature."
This little creature has been on the premises for a few days, probably looking for a Christmas posada, but evidently he's started really getting into our stuff. This is the point at which we are no longer okay with him being around. Actually, Sr. Ngan (pronounced "nun". How awesome is that?) has been not okay with him from the beginning. "It's so ugly! It's face is just so ugly. Ahh!" She is not very Franciscan, at least in that respect.
So Sr. Thuy, Sr. Ngan, Sr. Jane, and I spent about half an hour after dinner going through every box and bag of cookies, ice cream cones, cereal, crackers, and chips on the bottom half of the pantry, checking for holes and other evidence of our visitor. In a plastic tub, Sr. Ngan spotted some teensy little things that might have looked like seeds, had we not known better.
"Donations!" she cried. Then she handed the tub to Sr. Thuy. "Here."
"It has to be cleaned, right?"
"Ngan!" Sr. Thuy picked up a sleeve of chocolate shortbread cookies. They rained crumbs from a hole in the corner. "Aw, we have to throw it away. What a waste. Sorry, God!" Chunk, in the trashcan with the crisp rustle of a new trash bag.
Sr. Jane, the perpetual font of optimistic wisdom, chuckled. "It's not a waste. Our visitor is God's creature. It's God's creature," she said, in her understated way. Sr. Ngan was not convinced.
"It's ugly." She's made up her mind, and she's laughing.