Saturday, August 22, 2009


Since classes begin next week, I decided to check out the syllabus for each course in which the instructor had provided it online. I found that the requirement in one of my classes is to read 32 children's books. This took my mind back to the days when this kind of information would have made me ... a bit delirious. After submerging myself in Caldecott winners and Newberry Medalists, the thought of the great volume of literature I need to read causes me to envision a child with super wide eyes, protesting such a requirement. "That's a zillion words!"

When I opened my drawer and took out the mirror, I was pleasantly surprised to see Sir Coolman's classic face staring back at me, so I shared with him the latest news on my schooling. I finally got to the part about the bunches of books, and shared with him the picture I saw in my mind. He smiled. "Yes. That's all too realistic. You know, the perhaps the most comical part is the fact that your thoughts are based upon yourself."

I smirked. "I love reading. Have for most of my life."

"Most of your life, yes. But by no means all." And instantly, his features transformed into a scene of a small girl sitting on the floor beside her bed, holding a book and staring off into space.

I instantly remembered the book, the outfit, the room as it once had been. From the look on my face, my mind was so far away that my mother's voice startled me as it called from downstairs. "Retinna!"

"Yes," I growled.

"Are you still reading your book?"

I remembered the thing sitting limp in my hands and looked down at the words before answering truthfully, "yes!" I tried reading a few sentences before thumbing through the book, watching the words come together into one big, gray fog. "Stupid book," I told myself. "Thing must have nearly a whole half a zillion words."

As Sir Coolman came back into view, the first thing he saw was my open mouth, laughing.

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