"…it was hard to know what grown-ups meant when they said things. One day he had worked out a way of guessing what they were going to do: no meant no, maybe meant perhaps, yes meant maybe and perhaps meant no, but the system did not work, and he decided that maybe everything meant perhaps."
"She could talk. If she was a sphinx she could have talked, if she was a stone she could have talked. I wondered when she’d get tired and leave. Even after I stopped listening it was like being battered with tiny ping pong balls."