J and E by cristinaledesma33

J and E

What do you think was the first sound to become a word, a meaning?...

I imagined two people without words, unable to speak to each other. I imagined the need: The color of the sky that meant 'storm.' The smell of fire taht meant 'Flee.' The sound of a tiger about to pounce. Who would worry about these things?

And then I realized what the first word must have been: ma, the sound of a baby smacking its lips in search of her mother's breast. For a long time, that was the only word the baby needed. Ma, ma, ma. Then the mother decided that was her name and she began to speak, too. She taught the baby to be careful: sky, fire, tiger. A mother is always the beginning. She is how things begin.
- from The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan
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