Done. Over. Crisis averted. Both girls pulled their hair back and finished the candle-extinguishing ritual. Cake was had by all (including the beagle).
Granted, Emma needed a shampoo and deep-conditioning treatment, and will probably get a haircut on Sunday -- but once again, she has shown a natural instinct to not freak out when she is in the midst of a dangerous situation. The first happened a few years ago, when their a/c unit fell out of the window they were trying to open. Instead of trying to grab the unit & keep it in place, Emma actually leapt backwards, away from the window.
Not that Penelope is any less emergency-savvy -- after all, she did slice her pinky finger open (she was aiming for an apple core) -- but I'm not cataloging, here. Just sharing the amazement I always experience whenever my kids do something beyond their years. I shouldn't (be amazed), but I can't help it. I'm not sure I would have had the same instincts, at eight. I'm grateful that my daughters do.