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Tom Laichas

The Garden 

Some tell the story another way.

The children awake in a small garden arranged for their play. They’ve never awakened anywhere else. 

This day, they climb the fruit tree that has grown overnight from the Garden’s center. They shimmy along a fat bough and look out over the wall.  Beyond are the streets and alleys of the world, built by others, thick with strangers. At a distance is a large square, filled with booths. The slanting sun reveals everything: how the strangers cook, brawl, shout, sell, drink, and conspire.


They drop to the wall, jump down to the street and run toward these people, who swallow them whole into the city.


The caretaker watches them go. He smiles and sighs. Then he sets the garden ablaze.

It’s really that simple.  

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