When I handed her the novel

she looked at me from underneath

her eyelashes and smiled as if

we were sharing a secret.

Then, opening the book, she

gently fingered one of the

thin paper pages. Again she

looked at me and I waited to

see what she was going to do.

Lowering her face to the book,

she nibbled on the edge of the

page and giggled at my surprise.

She selected a word—

I think it was then

and she licked it carefully,

closing her eyes to savor

the taste of the storybook.

And then was gone from the

page; now it dwelled somewhere

on her tongue. I was

appalled at her behavior but

when she passed me

a tale about maidens, knights

and dragons,

I simply devoured it.