They were to eat peaches, as planned, after her nap, and now she sat across from the man who would have
been a total stranger except that he was in fact her father. They had been together again (although she
couldn’t quite remember when they had been together before) for almost a hundred years now, or was it only
since day before yesterday? Anyhow, they were together again, and he was kind of funny. First, he had the
biggest mustache she had ever seen on anybody, although to her it was not a mustache at all; it was a lot of
red and brown hair under his nose and around the ends of his mouth. Second, he wore a blue-and-white
striped jersey instead of a shirt and tie, and no coat. His arms were covered with the same hair, only it was a
little lighter and thinner. He wore blue slacks, but no shoes and socks, He was barefoot, and so was she, of
He was at home. She was with him in his home in Paris, if you could call it a home. He was very old,
especially for a young man: thirty-six, he had told her; and she was six, just up from sleep on a very hot
afternoon in August.
That morning, on a little walk in the neighbor-hood, she had seen peaches in a box outside a small store and
she had stopped to look at them, so he had bought a kilo.
Now, the peaches were on a large plate on the card table at which they sat.
There were seven of them, but one of them was flawed. It looked as good as others, almost the size of a
tennis ball, nice red fading to light green, but where the stem had been there was now a break that went
straight down into the heart of the seed.
He placed the biggest and best-looking peach on the small plate in front of the girl, and then took the flawed
peach and began to remove the skin. When he had half the skin off the peach he ate that side, neither of them
talking, both of them just being there, and not being excited or anything: no plans, that is.
The man held the half-eaten peach in his fingers and looked down into the cavity, into the open seed. The girl
While they were looking, two feelers poked out from the cavity. They were attached to a kind of brown
knob-head, which followed the feelers, and then two large legs took a strong grip on the edge of the cavity
and hoisted some of the rest of whatever it was out of the seed, and stopped there a moment, as if to look
The man studied the seed dweller, and so, of course, did the girl.
The creature paused only a fraction of a second, and then continued to come out of the seed, to walk down