A small, barefoot, ragged little man, handcuffed between two policemen, was proceeding by fits and starts along the dusty deserted street, as if to the rhythm of a painful dance, perhaps because he was lame or wounded in the foot. Between the two uniformed figures, whose faces looked like death masks in the harsh summer light, the little man had an air of earthy vitality about him, like an animal who had been captured in some ditch. He had a bundle on his back that made a noise like a cicada every time he moved.
This pitiful, farcical sight approached as I was seated on the front stoop with my spelling book on my knees. I was having my first difficulties with vowels and consonants, and here was an unexpected distraction that made me laugh. I looked around for someone to enjoy it with me, and at that moment, from inside the house, I heard my father’s heavy footsteps....
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