Chapter 1

OncewhenIwassixIsawamagnificentpictureinabookaboutthejungle,calledTrueStories. Itshowedaboaconstrictorswallowingawildbeast. Hereisacopyofthepicture. 

Inthebookitsaid: "Boaconstrictorsswallowtheirpreywhole,withoutchewing. Afterwardtheyarenolongerabletomove,andtheysleepforsixmonthstheyneedfordigestion." 

InthosedaysIthoughtalotaboutjungleadventures,andeventuallymanagedtomakemyfirstdrawing,withacoloredpencil. MydrawingNumberOnelookedlikethis: 

Ishowedthegrown-upsmymasterpiece,andIaskedthemifmydrawingscaredthem. 

Theyanswered,"Whyshouldanyonebescaredofahat?" 

Mydrawingwasnotapictureofahat. Itwasapictureofaboaconstrictordigestinganelephant. ThenIdrewtheinsideoftheboaconstrictor,sothegrown-upscouldunderstand. Theyalwaysneedexplanations. 

MydrawingNumberTwolookedlikethis: 

Thegrown-upsadvisedmetoputawaymydrawingsofboaconstrictors,outsideorinside,andapplymyselfinsteadtogeography,history,arithmetic,andgrammar. ThatiswhyIgaveup,attheageofsix,amagnificentcareerasanartist. IhadbeendiscouragedbythefailureofmydrawingNumberOneandofmydrawingNumberTwo. 

Grown-upsneverunderstandanythingbythemselves,anditisexhaustingforchildrentohavetoexplainoverandoveragain. 

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