• An young boy learns to appreciate the sounds of the night. - 09/01/2011

    “Mama, Mama, come quickly!” Peter Matola’s mother hurried to his small cot. “What is it, my son?” she whispered. “What has awakened you?” She bent over him like a comforting shadow in the dim light of the room. “Mama, listen to the night. Do you hear it? It’s too quiet, too still. The darkness lies...

  • Early navigators could read ocean currents, clouds, and stars to find their way through the ocean. - 09/01/2011

    “Stroke, stroke.” It is mid-winter, and the canoe-racing team is hard at work. The five teenagers from the island states of Chuuk and Pohnpei in the Pacific dip and pull their paddles in unison to the beat of their team leader’s chant. Sweat streams off their skin, and seawater glistens in their hair....

  • "The barber is here!" means it's time for Isaac's dreaded haircut. - 09/01/2011

    The sound of scissors—how I dreaded it! It would all start when one of the neighbors shouted, “The barber is here!” “Isaac,” Mama would say, “go get your hair cut.” Sad-faced, I headed for the door. “A chair—take a chair with you,” Mama would remind me. I would drag a tall chair out to the courtyard....

  • It's not easy to outsmart a monkey. - 09/01/2011

    Vidya shielded her eyes from the blazing Indian sun and peered out over the rooftops of Mathura. “Bandoo, you little thief!” she yelled. She glared at the little monkey crouched on the neighbor’s flat roof. Chee, chee, called Bandoo, rubbing his bald knees. He leaped to the dome of a nearby temple...