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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bed of Nails

The war is over and we are preparing to move. The pre-war gray-green panel truck is nearly loaded and we will be leaving soon.

I am seven and am helping as much as I am allowed. I glance occasionally with concern at the partially water-filled glass bowl which is home to my silver dollar sized turtle. I feel, more than think, that someone will, or should, make a decision about my turtle.

Now it is very nearly time to leave and I carry the bowl to the old panel truck where my father is standing. "What should I do with the turtle?" I ask.

"Put it in the truck." my father says.

I see no place in the loaded truck for a bowl with a turtle in it. "The bowl will spill." I say.

"Empty the bowl and put it in the truck." my father tells me.

I do as I am told, but hold my turtle, still safe, in my hands. Now,somewhat fearfully, I again ask my father what I should do with my turtle

"Put it there." he points.

I look 'there.' Rusty nails. An open can of rusty nails collected to finish our new home. The nails are unfriendly, uncaring, lifeless. As I put my turtle on those nails, I know he will never see his home again.

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