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One Winter Morning

Elena Lelia Radulescu

          The boy woke to a house so quiet, he could hear the grandfather clock ticking across hallway. He glanced at the shadow his rocking horse cast on the floor by the window and thought it must be late morning.

      He wondered why his grandmother, his Buna, hadn’t come to help him dress, her voice softening his endless complaints: the itchy collar of his starched shirt, the uniform too tight at the elbows, the woolen socks made for a peasant. Some mornings she called him the Lazy Prince of Lost Hopes; others she urged him to grow up, be a good boy and get ready for school. At the word school, the boy cringed; he hated being there especially during winter recess, when, cooped up in the auditorium, he had to endure the teasing and the finger poking of boys taller and stronger than him.

The Eye In The Middle of The Heart

Elena Lelia Radulescu

  For months Maria Bratu had been contemplating her return to Romania. The thought-fleeting, nostalgic, and intense-came and went in waves. She kept the longing for herself, as a child might keep a treasure box, to be taken out only at moments of loneliness. But the day she paid a visit to her friend, Zephira Borgosian, Maria almost let the words roll from the tip of her tongue: " I want to leave America for good."

     "Now I can sit down and enjoy your visit." Zephira said, pouring Turkish coffee into the small white cups. The strong aroma wafted from the ibrik and filled the air. For a moment, Maria closed her eyes and breathed in the familiar smell.


The Fox, the Hedgehog, and the Bag of Tricks!

Elena Lelia Radulescu

  ONCE, A FOX built her house near a hedgehog's cottage. The hedgehog tried to stay away from his new neighbor, but one day the fox crossed his path.

    "Good day to you," said the fox.

  "Same to you," answered the hedgehog, pulling his hood of spines over his head.

    "Now that we are neighbors," said the fox, "we should get to know each other and become friends. To prove my friendship, I'll tell you a secret. Down in the village there is a vineyard with grapes so ripe they melt in your mouth. Would you join me there for dinner tomorrow?"

    The hedgehog did not want to go, but the fox insisted, and in the end he agreed.

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