How to take a compliment.

“Now and then a teacher or an acquaintance would toss her a few friendly words. Naturally, if she hadn’t needed them so badly, she could have collected ten times as many. But she had never heard of supply and demand, wasn’t aware of such a thing as a seller’s market, and wouldn’t have applied it to her own case if she had. Like a solitary bowerbird, she hid these tiny pieces of blue glass around her nest and treasured them, though frequent inspection soon took their color away.”

from “Alice” by Elizabeth Harrower

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