There once was a girl who had a star for a brain. It was a very small star, as she was a very small girl. The girl was (of course) very clever, and being very clever, she knew what was happening to her from a very early age without anyone having to explain it to her. She merely had to wait until someone gave her the words to describe what she already knew. To the grown-ups it looked like she didn’t understand or didn't care about what made her different, which the grown-ups took for being ignorant, but she understood how she was special far better than they ever would.

The girl was very happy by a rotating staff of experts, physicists, multiple-doctorate-holders of all ages and curiosities, much more than she would have been with other children. The grown-ups who came to talk with her daily gave her all sorts of words to use and mull over inside that luminous head of hers. It was all very exciting for her, to be able to feel the pull of things on each other based merely on how much mass they had, and to be able to express her wonder at what she was experiencing was itself a far bigger thrill than she had ever experienced. She started to feel known and seen for who she was.

As the girl grew older, she saw less and less of her parents. Her mother read stories to her infrequently, so she lulled herself to sleep with textbooks resting open on her small chest like a series of small birds. One day she moved away from home to a special school built just for her where she could concentrate. She learned a great deal there, and purely on accident, she grew up.

One day, many years after the little girl forgot how her mother’s hands smelled, she posed a question that she had been thinking about for a very long time.

I don't know where my mother is, or even if she is still alive, she paused as she thought the words to those gathered to talk with her that day. I can't remember her face or what color her hair was, and I can't remember what her hands smelled of on summer afternoons. So why is it she pulls on me stronger than any of you, or the entire world, or the deep well of the galaxy?

No one could give the little girl with the star for a brain an answer.