Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 76

iii. At the mill the trees my father felled were transformed into pulp and then paper. This happened overnight, as if by magic. I didn’t understand how he could take a felled tree inside, secure the doors’ padlocks at sunset, then return to a vat of pulp the next morning. As with the forest, I wasn’t allowed in the mill, so I didn’t see the machines that did the work. I thought that when my father muttered to himself as he left the mill he was placing a spell over the tree that made it into transform into something it wasn’t.

My father brought me a chunk of pulp because he thought I would be interested in it. I put it under my pillow and dreamed of climbing trees at the edge of the forest. But before I got too high, my father yelled from the mill window for me to get down.

I wasn't too interested in pulp. I was more interested in paper. When my father brought the paper - sheaf after sheaf of it - into the house, he would settle into the study, ‘to write,’ he said. When I poked my head around the door, though, I never saw him writing. He was whispering to the paper and I could never hear what he was saying.

I asked him for a sheet of paper so I could write, too. But he quietly refused. He said that if I wanted to write I would have to start by felling a tree.

iv. But my father did not give me an axe. He gave me earplugs. And like the last time I wore them, when I went to play with the dog, they fell out of my ears.

I heard the slurps and my little giggles as she licked my cheek.

I heard them as though for the first time .

I heard all the sounds of my own life: the hoots of the wind

I heard all the sounds of my own life: the hoots of the wind inspiring my I heard all the sounds of my own life: the hoots of the wind inspiring my