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In the Retelling

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You lie in bed at night and dream of a desert. A voice speaks from out of the dark, quiet at first. “Wake up, wake up, we want you to walk with us.” A small hand brushes over your cheek, and you open your eyes.

They are waiting for you. They will always be waiting for you. Stroke the prince’s hair, the color and texture you can never forget. The fox’s tongue licks across your palm. “I remember the salt of your skin.”

Mother, they have been waiting for you, your heart’s children, friends from your childhood. You did not bear them into this world, but you shall keep them here.

Bring the book into your own child’s room. Show her the picture on the cover. Let her read to herself, read to you, their story.

Perhaps they will be for her as they were for you, your first story friends. From them you learned how every story may be tamed in time because it tames you first, curls around your heart, as though you lived it yourself.

One day it shall tame her, become part of her as once it became part of you.

Yes, the story will tame you, make you its own. And you will have, in this world, every friend you could ask for, dream of.

My darling, my dearest, you will never be alone, once you discover how to share with a story.

Patience. Meet the page. Breathe in its words. Breathe out your reply.

Embroidered across your own life shall be the stories of so many other lives. Lives lived, lives imagined, recounted. Watercolors of scenes seen and unseen. You learn - love - them, the tales and their tellers. Unknown to you until you dared the plunge - to sit, pick up the book, and read.