<B>Word-Blindness </B></P> Word-blindness.<br>The doctor hisses it<br>like a curse.<br>Word-blindness,<br>he repeats—some children<br>can see everything<br>except words.<br>They are only blind<br>on paper.<br>Fefa will never be able<br>to read, or write,<br>or be happy<br>in school.</p> Word-blindness.<br>It sounds like an evil wizard’s<br>prophecy, dangerous<br>and dreadful,<br>but Mamá does not listen<br>to the serpent voice<br>of the hissing doctor.<br>She climbs in the wagon,<br>clucks to the horse,<br>and carries us home<br>to our beautiful green farm,<br>where she tells me to follow<br>the good example of Santa Mónica,<br>patron saint of patience.</p> Word-blindness,<br>Mamá murmurs<br>with a suffering sigh—who<br>ever heard of such an impossible<br>burden?</p> She refuses to accept<br>the hissing doctor’s verdict.<br>Seeds of learning grow slowly,<br>she assures me.<br>Then she lights a tall,<br>slender candle,<br>and gives me<br>a book.</p> </p> I grow anxious.<br>I pretend that my eyes hurt.<br>I pretend that my head hurts,<br>and pretty soon<br>it is true.</p> I know that the words<br>want to trick me.<br>The letters will jumble<br>and spill off the page,<br>leaping and hopping,<br>jumping far away,<br>like slimy<br>bullfrogs.</p> Think of this little book<br>as a garden,<br>Mamá suggests.<br>She says it so calmly<br>that I promise I will try.</p> Throw wildflower seeds<br>all over each page, she advises.<br>Let the words sprout<br>like seedlings,<br>then relax and watch<br>as your wild diary<br>grows.</p> I open the book.<br>Word-blindness.<br>The pages are white!<br>Is this really<br>a blank diary,<br>or just an ordinary<br>schoolbook<br>filled with frog-slippery<br>tricky letters<br>that know how to leap<br>and escape? <BR><BR><i>Continues...</i> <!-- copyright notice --> <br></pre> <blockquote><hr noshade size='1'><font size='-2'> Excerpted from <b>The Wild Book</b> by <b>Margarita Engle</b> Copyright © 2012 by Margarita Engle. Excerpted by permission.<br> All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.<br>Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.