"Once upon a time," and so it began. An eight-hour train ride seated in front of a child and mother who believed in the virtues of reading aloud. A lot of loud reading aloud. We weren't even beyond the city limits when my frustration at the encroachment upon my personal auditory space began to build. No iPod buds or Bose headphones to block the sound. Yet, I had to admit, her voice was clear and smooth. Expressive in all the right places. Accents! She even sang when the text called for it. It's hard to maintain frustration when in admiration mode. Maybe I could listen, I started thinking. Just sit here and secretly let myself be read to. After all, it had been a long time since I'd heard "The Princess and the Pea." Down went the book I'd taken out of my bag. I settled in. Then came Cinderella and a magical pumpkin and glass slippers that had inexplicably slipped past the reality of midnight's stroke.