Once upon a time, that girl over there asked her daddy to paint the universe on her ceiling.
"I want the stars and the planets," she said, "Sirius and Andromeda and a supermassive black hole. Maybe some dark matter to lurk in the corners, or a quasar star instead of my kitty nightlight."
Her father went outside with a bucket and a ladder spun from sunlight, harvest at dusk, just as the sun slinks beneath the horizon. Her
father set the ladder on the hill behind the house, climbed up, and he wrung the universe from the sky.
He wrung out the stars and the planets, Sirius and Andromeda and a supermassive black hole, or maybe two. He wrung out the dark matter and the quasar nightlight. He even harvested a comet to line the hallway with, so his daughter would have sure footing when wandering at night.
Then he folded up the ladder and went back inside the house, the bucket of the universe thumping at his leg. He went to garage and found giant rollers, a tarp and a pan, and he went to his daughter's bedroom.
And he painted the universe on her ceiling.
(Oh imagine this. Imagine a daddy – a daddy of three and host to many other children who invade his house with his daughter and eat all the bear claws and leave sodas in the basement, a daddy who hasn't worn his hiking boots in too long and can speak knowledgably on most any subject but never has near enough time to relax – imagine him, painting his daughter's room with stars and planets, Sirius and Andromeda and some dark matter, with a supermassive black hole scattered here and there and a quasar star to light her way. Imagine that, a daddy covered with the universe and a stack of papers on his desk. Imagine a daddy, painting and painting, 'cause his daughter asked him to.)
He painted the universe on his daughter's ceiling.
Then she kissed her daddy on the check and went off to explore the Milky Way.
(Of course, he picked up the shattered, sharp pieces of her when she came back. Of course he did, waiting with his bottle of glue and his plate of cookies, for his daughter for whom he painted the universe onto a ceiling. She came back, all cracks and fragile, and her daddy was waiting, waiting to help put her back together.)
((Can you imagine a better daddy?))