The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Close your eyes shed said hold out your hands as soon

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Unformatted text preview: d closer to Rudy and whispered: “When was our Führer born?” Each word was carefully created and fed into his ear. “Come on, Rudy, when was he born? You can tell me, everything’s fine, don’t be afraid.” And Rudy? How did he reply? Did he respond prudently, or did he allow his stupidity to sink himself deeper into the mire? He looked happily into the pale blue eyes of Franz Deutscher and whispered, “Easter Monday.” Within a few seconds, the knife was applied to his hair. It was haircut number two in this section of Liesel’s life. The hair of a Jew was cut with rusty scissors. Her best friend was taken to with a gleaming knife. She knew nobody who actually paid for a haircut. As for Rudy, so far this year he’d swallowed mud, bathed himself in fertilizer, been half-strangled by a developing criminal, and was now receiving something at least nearing the icing on the cake— public humiliation on Munich Street. For the most part, his fringe was sliced away freely, but with each stroke, there were always a few hairs that held on for dear life and were pulled out completely. As each one was plucked, Rudy winced, his black eye throbbing in the process and his ribs flashing in pain. “April twentieth, eighteen eighty-nine!” Franz lectured him, and when he led his cohorts away, the audience dispersed, leaving only Liesel, Tommy, and Kristina with their friend. Rudy lay quietly on the ground, in the rising damp. Which leaves us only with stupid act number three—skipping the Hitler Youth meetings. He didn’t stop going right away, purely to show Deutscher that he wasn’t afraid of him, but after another few weeks, Rudy ceased his involvement altogether. Dressed proudly in his uniform, he exited Himmel Street and kept walking, his loyal subject, Tommy, by his side. Instead of attending the Hitler Youth, they walked out of town and along the Amper, skipping stones, heaving enormous rocks into the water, and generally getting up to no good. He made sure to get the un...
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