Every night Mum or Dad reads
to two little girls before lights out.
Grown up visitors used to be
pestered to read aloud also.

Older sister started school, brought
home little books, read to Mum
every night, Dad too. She wrote stories,
letters to fairies and grandparents.
Mum helped with the spelling.

Younger sister turned five, started
school. She could write her name
on cards to grandparents, aunts, uncles.
Yet there were many squiggles called
letters, in books, on the whiteboard.
She was told to write them herself.

She had to read to her teacher each
day, to Mum after school, all those
squiggles, she much preferred pictures.
She remembered a book’s words, but
when reading to Mum she stared out
the window reciting the words,
vaguely waving her finger over them.

Meanwhile big sister’s books were
longer and harder, she read them easily.

After some months of puzzlement
the five year old read a new book
fluently to her teacher one day. How
did she do it ? She didn’t know.
But she had finally cracked the mystery.