EMILIANA / Fernando Dámaso

Patchwork by Rebeca

The house of the lady Emiliana had been deteriorating with the passage of years, without painting or repairs, but still, surrounding by identical badly-constructed buildings full of bright colors, it stood in its nobility in the center of an area of a hundred square yards, planted with fruit trees and flowers which, like a solitary island, refused to disappear.

A refuge for birds, the perennial green of Emiliana’s property incited envy in some of its neighbors, less favored by luck or with ancestors who worked less in the creation of wealth. Every morning, Emiliana would walk through her gardens and orchards. Howard, her German Shepherd, accompanied her, barking at any intruder and baring his teeth. Around noon, after lunch, he could be seen in the wide entryway at the feet of his mistress, who took a nap sitting in a rocking chair. This happened every day of every week.

Because of this, what happened was a great surprise to everyone. It began one morning when, instead of the famous morning walk of the lady and her dog, the garden and its fruit trees were filled with children who ran and shouted like overflowing rivers. Emiliana, seated in the rocker with Howard at her feet, observed the games. The scene, repeated each morning, became habitual. No one knew where the children came from or where they returned to when they finished playing.

Today Mrs. Emiliana’s house is vacant and abandoned. The oldsters say that they last saw her one morning when everything continued as usual, except that when the children were playing one little girl, all dressed in white with a yellow ribbon in her hair and accompanied by a German Shepherd puppy, joined them.

December 31 2011