He wasn't rattled; instead, George W Bush was attempting to project an aura of calm as he mulled over news that terrorists had flown hijacked aeroplanes into the World Trade Centre in New York.
The former President has given a rare interview explaining why his reaction to the 9/11 attacks, which occurred while he visited a school in Florida, involved looking blankly before reading out loud from the book My Pet Goat.
"My first reaction was anger. Who the hell would do that to America? Then I immediately focused on the children, and the contrast between the attack and the innocence of children," he says in a National Geographic Channel documentary. "I made the decision not to jump up... and leave the classroom... I didn't want to rattle the kids. I wanted to project a sense of calm."