From “The Eye,” a short story by Alice Monro, excerpted from her new book of short stories, Dear Life, at The Guardian:
Why do I say ominous? I didn’t feel frightened. It wasn’t that my mother actually told me what I was to feel about things. She was an authority on that without having to question a thing. Not just in the case of a baby brother but in the matter of Red River cereal which was good for me and so I must be fond of it. And in my interpretation of the picture that hung at the foot of my bed, showing Jesus suffering the little children to come unto him. Suffering meant something different in those days, but that was not what we concentrated on. My mother pointed out the little girl half hiding round a corner because she wanted to come to Jesus but was too shy. That was me, my mother said, and I supposed it was though I wouldn’t have figured it out without her telling me and I rather wished it wasn’t so.