Ten-year-old Josh walked to school on an already hot May morning. The bulldozers roared and pushed along the river, clearing the bush and the cottonwood trees for new condo development. Josh’s skinny white pony-tailed neighbour, landlord Glaser Neil called out from his yard “hey, take a look at this,” and Josh stopped. Neil often acquired odd things. Odd but interesting. Neil pointed behind his lilac bush. Josh looked over and smelled the lilacs. Glaser motioned for Josh to come in, and the boy opened the gate and peered at the back of a cage. “What’s in there?” he asked. He heard a growl.
Is it worth your lives? his father had asked him – repeatedly. Your lives? A bullet for a few billion leaves?
Well, he’d never understood it.
No, that’s not fair; he understood it perfectly well. That’s precisely why he feared.
He’d never come out to the settlement. Laisa asked, with deliberate frequency, why he never visited.
Because he’s afraid, Felipe explained.