"See you tomorrow?"
"I'll have to go home, take my shoes off, wrap myself up in Mom's quilt, and think about it."
I goggled at her. "A quilt? Won't that be hot?"
"Oh, no," she smiled. She held her hands out, as if she were holding up the quilt and showing it to me. Some people do that, trying to show you what's in their mind via their hands. "It's an old, thin thing, no thicker than a couple of sheets. I've replaced the back once already. My mother pieced it together for me when she was twelve."
That stopped me. "She made a quilt for you when she was only twelve? When were you born?"
"Oh, not for another ten years. But she knew I would be coming along eventually, and she wouldn't have time do to it then. It's even got my name on it."
I shook my head at that and held open the door for her. I spent the rest of the night wondering if I would ever be gentle enough to live with such a creature. It'd be like living with a Ming vase. Fragile. Precious.
Bill Trout and Miss Dewey, after Bill's made an offer to help her with something: