undresses him, very quietly, gently, not to
wake him. She tucks him in.
is still dark outside, but the first faint signs of
morning light the winter
sky as I awake to look
around and see that I'm back home, to jump ecstatic
out of bed, and dress.
I run through the hallway into the
pa's door is closed. I run out to the balcony, the
the courtyard, the stable.
Open the stable door.
stall is empty....
The wagon isn't there! Ferdeleh isn't
thing has changed, and where there was life and love
stands a ramshackle secondhand truck. A sign
on it reads: "H. Herman,
I run from the stable, run
through the courtyard
into the street.
I run back into the courtyard, toward my house.
My feet are running, running up the stairs. I race
across the kitchen and
stop at Grandpa's door.
Slowly, carefully, I open the door,
my breath and
my heartbeat waiting.
The bed is made...
the room is empty.
I turn with a start as Harry comes in.
"Papa. Why did they go off without me? Didn't
know I was coming home?"
Harry, as gentle, as tender
as he can be, sits down
and pulls me closer to him.
. . . your grandfather and Ferdeleh have
heart races. I'm panicked. "Away? Where?"
gone... far away... to heaven...."
a lie!" I scream. "They wouldn't go
without me. They wouldn't go
Harry tries to explain. "Davie .
. . Grandpa is
dead... so is Ferdeleh. They've both gone to heaven,
they're never coming back."
Sobbing, screaming, I attack
my father. Hitting,
pummeling, pounding him. "You're lying! You're ly-
ing! They'll come back! They'll come back!"
I run from
the kitchen, from the balconies, from
the courtyard, into the street. I run
down the long
narrow lanes, looking desperately for the wagon that
approaches. How like a dream is this vision
ran through the back lanes of Montreal searching
for the wagon, which never
appeared. At last, in
and despair, I made my way homeward,
and hid in the hayloft above the stable.
Echoes of the
smell of my beloved.
in Mr. Elias' house, do I see them. My mother
is dressing to go out in the snow.
Harry asks, "Where
are you going?"
"To a dance!" She is wan
from mourning and sad-
ness. Her face seems tighter, and, too, she is feeling
her hatred and anger. "What did you tell him? Where
is he?" she
"He'll be back. Don't worry."
did you tell him?"
"I told him what a father had
to tell him - that his
grandfather and the horse were dead. Don't worry
about it. I'll get him a puppy."
"You'll get him
a puppy!" Annie stares at the man
she has married, and then turns to
Harry clumsily tries to assume authority. "You're
not going anywhere. You're not running after him.
He's a big enough boy, and
he'll come back." Harry
pauses, lets that sink in. "I'm running
There are going to be some changes. Take off your
"You couldn't control your joy when he died,
you?" she says bitterly.
"You're not going anywhere."
"I'm going. Harry!"
going to be some changes around here
from now on!" he repeats.
pushes past him. Now it's her turn to scorn.
a new mirror. Harry, so you can take a good
look at yourself!"
know what I look like! And I know who I am!"
gone, and he's shouting into nothing.
hurries down the stairs of the rear balcony,
and runs through the courtyard
to the street, calling
for me. "Davie... Davie... Davie..."
I don't answer. I lie in the hay and mourn.
looks up the empty street, and runs back into
the yard. Frantic.
Baumgarten and Mrs. Champlain are standing
in the courtyard. Annie runs to
them. "Have you seen
They shake their
Annie starts calling again, and runs toward the
street. "Davie... Davie... Davie..."
lay huddled in the stable, in the hayloft, my face
tearstained, staring out
through the half-open stable
doors, unable to comprehend what was happening.
Grandpa wouldn't leave without telling me.
Not for Grandpa and Ferdeleh. Because I
they would never do such a thing to me.
my father. Because he had told me such
a terrible lie.
My grandfather stood over
six feet high
As big as a mountain that fills the sky
And he sang me a
song as grandfathers do
A song I feel I must sing to you.
is the truth and the truth is love:
Everything else is a lie.