"Read this, what? What do you say?"
"All right. Who is this?"
"And what is Bambi?"
"That's right. Bambi is a fawn. And who is this?"
"That's right. Bambi's mama is a...?"
"Doe. Doe a deer a fe-may deer."
"Clever boy. Turn the page. Now what does Bambi's mother say?"
"That's right. Look, Bambi's making himself very small and still. What is he doing?"
"Bambi is special because he is a..."
"'And someday he will grow up to be a...'"
"That's right. But right now he is small and so he has to be very..."
"Careful! And clever! And quiet!"
"That's not very quiet! Show me quiet."
"That's better. Look, here comes your sister to tuck you in."
"Shh, Lara. We're being quiet."
"But I don't like this part."
"It's important. Read it for me, and then we'll read whatever you like."
"Okay... '"Good, said his mother, "I'm going out alone first. Stay here and wait. And don't take your eyes off me for a minute. If you see me run back here, then turn around and run as fast as you can. I'll catch up with you soon." She grew silent and seemed to be thinking. Then she went on ear... ear...'"
"'... earnestly, "Run away as fast as your legs will carry you. Run even if something should happen... even if you should see me fall to the ground... Don't think of me, do you understand? No matter what you see or hear, start running right away and just as fast as you possibly can. Do you promise me to do that?" "Yes," said Bambi softly. His mother spoke so ser... seriously.' Can I stop now?"
"Yes. That was well done. Go fetch whatever you'd like to read next."
She waited until he left the room, and then said, under her breath, "If you live, my son, if you are cunning and don't run into danger, you'll be as strong and handsome as your father is..."
[Bambi, copyright 1929 by Felix Salten]