Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 11 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week. Click here for previous chapters.
Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications.
The young man who regularly came to care for the trees on Ourdwe Street, including the branches at number 8, caught the attention of the children in the orphanage. He was blond haired, with sparkling eyes and a ready grin. He sang while he worked, and most importantly, he would toss small lollipops at the children at a time when there wasn’t a candy to be found in the orphanage kitchen. Slowly the children began to approach him. “What’s your name?” one little boy dared ask.
“Emil-Emil-Emil,” the children chanted as they sucked happily on their lollipops.
“What are you singing?” another boy tried.
“Nice songs,” the gardener replied. “And what’s your name?”
Some of the boys only nodded bashfully but didn’t say a word, especially the younger ones. The tree man would smile, wave at them, and move on to the next part of the street.
He continued coming at least twice a week, and in time Theodore noticed him and began observing him from the window of the office.
“I’m wondering about that man,” he said one day to Farash, who was seated behind him. “Since Lucio left, we have a problem with the evening hours. What do you say, should we try offering him a job?”
Farash raised his head from the daily paper. “You can try,” he murmured.