I was in first grade when I first saw
someone licking their lips. It was very interesting. I had
never seen that before or, I never noticed. I wasn't aware at
the time that it was called licking the lips. To me it looked
as if someone just put their tongue only slightly out of their
mouth and moved it from one side to the other. I decided to
copy this interesting behavior.
One day, I started licking my lips. I
had no idea what it meant, only that it was a behavior pattern
I had noticed performed by some adults.
I would do something, and lick my
lips. When I remembered what I was doing, I licked my lips.
Every time I remembered that I saw people licking their lips I
would lick my lips. I was very interested in this behavior
I remember a teacher talking to this
young girl in my class, little Ashley. The teacher's back was
turned to me while she talked to little Ashley. I decided to
copy the adults and lick my lips. Little Ashley's eyes opened
wide at my action.
"Ms. Jones, he stuck his tongue out
at me!" little Ashley cried.
Ms. Jones turned around to look at
me. I looked back, my face impassive and expressionless. Did I
just stick my tongue out at her? That action that I had copied
from the adults didn't seem like sticking my tongue out at
Ms. Jones looked at me, and then
turned back to little Ashley.
"No he didn't. Stop trying to
distract me. We were talking about your own behavior," she told
little Ashley sternly.
Little Ashley looked at me, her face
I wondered what the difference was
between licking my lips and sticking my tongue out, so stuck my
tongue out at Ashley. Not a lot, just a little slip of the tip
of my tongue.
"Ms. Jones, he did it again!" Little
Ms. Jones turned to glance at me
again. Again I was impassive and expressionless. I had not
copied most facial expression patterns yet.
"No he didn't Ashley. I must ask you
not to try to get others in trouble to escape your own," Ms
Jones icily told little Ashley.
My little games with my tongue had
somehow made little Ashley furious, yet had made Ms. Jones
angry at her, and not me.
I decided to lick my lips again, to
see what little Ashley would do.
On cue, she pointed and cried, "He's
doing it right now!"
Ms. Jones became angry with her.
Without bothering to turn around again she said, "Young lady, I
am getting tired of this. You will stop this right now or I
will be forced to report this to your parents."
I decided to wag my tongue at little
Ashley. This was a complete, large tongue that stared at
"No look, he's doing it right now,
when your back is turned," little Ashley practically
Ms. Jones was exasperated, but turned
her head around to look at me.
I licked my lips just slightly, my
expression one of complete bewilderment.
Ms. Jones became fed up with little
Ashley, and told her harshly, "No he's not. He's just licking
his lips. You will stop trying to get other people in trouble
this instant. We are still talking about your bad
Little Ashley became livid with anger
It was a very interesting experience.
I don't remember what happened very clearly, but I do remember
that it was one of the first times I remember obtaining such an
intriguing reaction from someone.
To little Ashley, or grown up Ashley
as I should call you now. I have learned much since then. I
hope you forgive me for what happened, as I had just started to
learn about human behavior. Since then, I have learned that
people should appear kind to others in public. Therefore, I
wish to apologize right now for what happened. However, know
that your suffering gave me great insight into the human
condition, and helped me become who I am today.