One afternoon, the girl and her friend went out to the barn to play. They were gone for several hours before the mother noticed that it had been quiet for an exceptionally long time. So she went out to investigate.
Even before she reached the barn, she could hear the friend’s voice droning on and on. She followed the sound and discovered the girls nestled down into the passageway between the two barns—outside the new barn and inside the old barn. The friend was reading a chapter book about dragons.
“Is she making you read to her again?” the mother asked the friend.
“It’s okay,” the friend assured her. “It’s a good book.”
And the mother’s heart swelled with gratitude for the sweet friend who never once made the girl feel Less Than simply because she couldn’t read as well.
This same time, years previous: a July evening