“Richie can’t read,” the Sandman replied. “He looks at all the pictures and then gobbles the book up. He is especially fond of cookbooks with pictures. He said they were especially delicious. And fairy tales were also quite okay. The bitterest ones, he said, were sad poems. Once he came down with a sad mood disease after reading sad poems and had to stay in bed for two weeks.”
“What are you on about!” Marilyn laughed. “Nobody can get ill from just reading books.”
“Richie can because he reads everything very thoroughly. He finishes every book up to the very last bite,” the Sandman said. “If I hadn’t given him a fun children’s book, the back cover of which was spread with jam, Richie would have died of sadness.”
“And did this jammy children’s book cure him?” Marilyn asked.
“Like magic!” the Sandman replied. “I saw him complete the reading of the sweet back cover in a couple of minutes. And after that he got straight up and felt fine. He even held a party to celebrate his recovery and invited his closest neighbors. The table was full of books and the party went on until the early hours of dawn.
Roland the Rat from next door read so many fairy tales that his belly touched the floor and he couldn’t get through the rat hole, so he had to spend the night at Richie’s.”