Rummaging the word "pacifier" out of the storerooms of distant memory seemed to have given Himiko back her confidence. But the yellow rubber objects resting in her open hand like enlarged, winged maple seeds looked like troublesome implements for a newborn baby to manage.
"The one with the blue stuff inside is for teething, that's for older infants. But this squooshy one should be just what the doctor ordered." As she spoke, Himiko placed the pacifier in the screaming baby's pink mouth.
Why did you have to buy one for teething? Bird started to ask. Then he saw that the baby wasn't even responding to the pacifier intended for infants. The only indication it was aware of the gadget inserted in its mouth was a slight working of its face, as if the baby was trying to expel the pacifier with its tongue.
"It doesn't seem to work; I guess he's too young," Himiko said miserably after experimenting for a minute. Her confidence again was gone.
Bird withheld criticism.
-- Kenzaburo Oë, A Personal Matter, tr. John Nathan (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1969), 153.