>GREENSTICK

>What is left is half of a tree. Not a clean-shaven stump but a splintered crack: fibrous shafts of bark and woody sinew. A raw break, a painful break. LB stared at the broken tree for some while until The Grandpa came up to join her. Why? was what LB’s small, folded-up face seemed to say. The Grandpa put a big peanut finger up to the corner of LB’s eye, scooping up a tear before it had time to touch her cheek. —Just the way, it is, little sparrow— said The Grandpa. LB’s hands punched at little pockets of air. It’s unfair, her hands seemed to say. The Grandpa smiled. —Sometimes it’s just time— he said. —Sometimes it’s time that tells you to fall— .

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