Trick by Domenico Starnone (Translated from the Italian by Jhumpa Lahiri):
I was forced into playing both ladder and horse. The first made me yawn, constantly. It consisted of pulling the stepladder out of the closet, opening it and making sure it was sturdy, climbing to the top, and then climbing down again. At first he proceeded rung by rung and I held him from behind so that he wouldn’t fall, something that drove him crazy since, in his opinion, there was no reason for me to spot him. Then, by means of cautious but continuous protests, he convinced me to let him climb while I stayed at the bottom of the ladder and held him by the arm. In the end he rebelled outright:
--I know how to climb by myself, don’t hold me.
--And if you fall?
--But if you do, I’ll leave you to cry on the floor.
--And let this be clear: You climb three times, that’s it.
--How much is thirty, in your opinion?