The pages smelled like dust and the scent tickled his nose. Even now he twitched his whiskers at it, a mud colored forepaw planted on the opposite page holding the book open. It was old, he thought. And not just older than him. Like, old old, older than Meemaw, even. The pages were all wrinkly and yellow. He thought, at first, that someone had peed on it- and maybe they had. Even so, that was a lot of pee. It wasn't, though. It didn't smell like pee, and his nose was always right.
He stared at the open page, his nose nearly touching as he tried to make sense of all the tiny shapes and weird symbols. He couldn't make them out no matter how hard he tried or how long he looked. He just didn't understand. How could Daddy make sense of them and not him? So, he wasn't a grown-up, big deal. He was smart like one, but still the shapes made no more sense than they had a moment ago. He frowned, and then he heard her...and then everybody heard her. He slumped over the book dramatically. Now he'd never figure it out!
Oriole loved his sister, he did, but she was just so, so loud and destructive and trouble. Most of all she was trouble, either getting into it or causing it. And he, not Papa, not Daddy, not even their new sister Serenity, he- Oriole was her usual target. Go a'way! He said into the spine of the book his voice muffled by the thick weathered pages. He was still slumped over it, or more so splayed. His face was in the book, his legs sticking out from his body, and belly on the floor.
He didn't look up at her, just laid there as if doing so would make her disappear and find someone else to bother. As if... It was a nice thought, though.