The Older Sister’s Question

When her brother was born, Sa-chi Gabriel begged her parents to leave her alone with the baby. They refused, fearing that, as with many four-year-olds, she was jealous and wanted to mistreat him.

But Sa-chi showed no signs of jealousy. And since she was always extremely affectionate towards her little brother, her parents decided to carry out an experiment.

They left Sa-chi alone with their new-born baby, but kept the bedroom door ajar so that they could watch what she did.

Delighted to have her wish granted, little Sa-chi tiptoed over to the cradle, leaned over the baby and said:

“Little brother, tell me what God is like. I’m beginning to forget.”

Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian author who has sold more than 100 million books, which include 14 short story collections and the novel “The Alchemist.” He has been a fan of the Internet since the early 1990s. He spends at least three hours a day online, writing e-mails back and forth with his readers and posting photos on Flickr, MySpace and a blog.

Coelho’s online activities also include promoting pirated copies of his own books. Since 2005 he’s been directing his readers to an online site where they can download his books, in languages from German to Japanese, for free. “I always thought that when, at the beginning of your career, you strive to be read, you can’t change your mind later and become greedy about it.”

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