Among our people there is no age of youth, scarcely the briefest childhood. Our life happens to be such that a child, as soon as it can run about a little and a little distinguish one thing from another, must look after itself just like an adult...Childhood and old age come upon us not as upon others. We have no youth, we are all at once grown-up. For her [Josephine] there is no growing old and no falling off in her voice.
From Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk by Frank Kafka