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Be quiet, don’t make a sound; follow them around like you’re their reflection; imitate every movement they make, but not their sounds; don’t be upset about the limited choice of things you can copy; disappear in shady areas; appear in sunny areas; become darker as the sunlight strengthens, lighter as it wanes; stretch in the evenings; compact in noon; adopt the watery colors of dawn, the bloody shades of twilight; stretch your arms and legs whenever you feel stiff—just make sure that no one’s looking; scare children by elongating your limbs, darkening your body by a shade; amuse actors by letting the flashy stage lights color you; provide a sanctuary for sweaty, heat-stricken people; follow around shivering pedestrians and chill them to the marrow; accompany downpours and blizzards and all ominous events in clichéd stories; if you’re too tired to follow people around, guide them to a lightless area—let them wander for a little bit, while you take a short rest; steal the shape of a soap bubble; steal the shape of water currents; steal the shape of solid objects and sit there, large and angry, preventing cowardly pets and amused children from passing by; steal the shape of clouds—the pretty ones, the ugly ones, the thick ones and the thin ones; steal the movement of flying birds, of fluttering feathers and squawking beaks; imitate the children screaming in the playground, the parents worrying that their children will fall over, the old people watching them all, with calm, glassy eyes; do anything you want—just don’t make a sound.




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