from Conversations in Sicily by Elio Vittorini

Then, as I was waiting, I saw a kite come up over the valley, and I followed it with my eyes as it passed above me into the sunlight high overhead, and I asked myself why, after all, the world was not A Thousand and One Nights, the way it was when I was seven. I heard bagpipes, the goats’ bells, and voices carrying across the slope of roofs and the valley, and I asked myself this question many times over as I watched the kite in the air. We call them flying dragons in Sicily, as somehow they embody China or Persia in the Sicilian sky, with their sapphire and opal colors and their geometry, and watching it I couldn’t help but ask myself why, really, the faith one has at seven doesn’t last forever.

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