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Unformatted text preview: was no gift. There was no gift because there was no money, and at the
time, Papa was out of tobacco.
“I told you.” Mama pointed a finger at him. “I told you not to give her both books at Christmas. But no. Did you
listen? Of course not!”
“I know!” He turned quietly to the girl. “I’m sorry, Liesel. We just can’t afford it.”
Liesel didn’t mind. She didn’t whine or moan or stamp her feet. She simply swallowed the disappointment and
decided on one calculated risk—a present from herself. She would gather all of the accrued letters to her
mother, stuff them into one envelope, and use just a tiny portion of the washing and ironing money to mail it.
Then, of course, she would take the Watschen, most likely in the kitchen, and she would not make a sound.
Three days later, the plan came to fruition. “Some of it’s missing.” Mama counted the money a fourth time, with Liesel over at the stove. It was warm there
and it cooked the fast flow of her blood. “What happened, Liesel?”
She lied. “They must have given me less than usual.”
“Did you count it?”
She broke. “I spent it, Mama.”
Rosa came closer. This was not a good sign. She was very close to the wooden spoons. “You what?”
Before she could answer, the wooden spoon came down on Liesel Meminger’s body like the gait of God. Red
marks like footprints, and they burned. From the floor, when it was over, the girl actually looked up and
There was pulse and yellow light, all together. Her eyes blinked. “I mailed my letters.”
What came to her then was the dustiness of the floor, the feeling that her clothes were more next to her than on
her, and the sudden realization that this would all be for nothing—that her mother would never write back and
she would never see her again. The reality of this gave her a second Watschen. It stung her, and it did not stop
for many minutes.
Above her, Rosa appeared to be smudged, but she soon clarified as her cardboard face loomed closer. Dejected,
she stood there in all her...
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2014 for the course ENG 99 taught by Professor Michal during the Winter '13 term at CSU Sacramento.
- Winter '13