The author was packing up after a boisterous session with 5 classes of 8-9 year-olds in a large, echoy gym. She became aware that someone was quietly trying to get her attention.
It was a small boy.
The boy was bespectacled, goopy-looking, earnest. A boy who did not now, nor probably ever would, find the world his oyster. The author looked at him. It was like looking at a small boy version of her own small self.
The boy looked at the author, as the noise of the dispersing classes swirled around them. "I keep your books in a box under my bed," he said. "And when I can't sleep in the night I take one out and read it."
The author babbled. She thanked the small boy for saying such a lovely thing and that he couldn't have said anything nicer to her. Ever.
"That's all right," said the small boy, and walked away.
The author knows that she cannot go round schools and libraries and festivals saying, "Hello! I'm an author and I'd like to live under your bed." But in her heart, she thinks it would be the nicest thing. Ever.
Joan Lennon's website.
Joan Lennon's blog.