Thursday, January 28, 2016

Well Said: My Brother's Garden

Some young children sported among the tombs, and hid from each other, with laughing faces. They had an infant with them, and had laid it down asleep upon a child's grave, in a little bed of leaves. It was a new grave — the resting-place, perhaps, of some little creature, who, meek and patient in its illness, had often sat and watched them, and now seemed, to their minds, scarcely changed.

She drew near and asked one of them whose grave it was. The child answered that that was not its name; it was a garden — his brother's. It was greener, he said, than all the other gardens, and the birds loved it better because he had been used to feed them. When he had done speaking, he looked at her with a smile, and kneeling down and nestling for a moment with his cheek against the turf, bounded merrily away.
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
Lest one think that the child is untouched by his brother's death, later in the book we learn how much this little boy misses him. What I loved about this was the personal way he called it a garden, how it made him think of his brother feeding the birds, and that nestling on the turf like a hug. It was touching and also lifted me up.

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