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Unformatted text preview: nly one there, and she was not gigantic. It was nice to
watch Papa’s hand as he wrote the words and slowly constructed the primitive sketches.
“Ah, come on, Liesel,” he said when she struggled later on. “Something that starts with S. It’s easy. I’m very
disappointed in you.”
She couldn’t think.
“Come on!” His whisper played with her. “Think of Mama.”
That was when the word struck her face like a slap. A reflex grin. “SAUMENSCH!” she shouted, and Papa
roared with laughter, then quieted.
“Shhh, we have to be quiet.” But he roared all the same and wrote the word, completing it with one of his
A TYPICAL HANS HUBERMANN ARTWORK “Papa!” she whispered. “I have no eyes!”
He patted the girl’s hair. She’d fallen into his trap. “With a smile like that,” Hans Hubermann said, “you don’t
need eyes.” He hugged her and then looked again at the picture, with a face of warm silver. “Now for T.”
With the alphabet completed and studied a dozen times, Papa leaned over and said, “Enough for tonight?” “A few more words?”
He was definite. “Enough. When you wake up, I’ll play accordion for you.”
“Good night.” A quiet, one-syllable laugh. “Good night, Saumensch.”
“Good night, Papa.”
He switched off the light, came back, and sat in the chair. In the darkness, Liesel kept her eyes open. She was
watching the words. THE SMELL OF FRIENDSHIP
Over the next few weeks and into summer, the midnight class began at the end of each nightmare. There were
two more bed-wetting occurrences, but Hans Hubermann merely repeated his previous cleanup heroics and got
down to the task of reading, sketching, and reciting. In the morning’s early hours, quiet voices were loud.
On a Thursday, just after 3 p.m., Mama told Liesel to get ready to come with her and deliver some ironing. Papa
had other ideas.
He walked into the kitchen and said, “Sorry, Mama, she’s not going with you today.”
Mama didn’t even bother looking up from the washing bag. “Who asked you, Arschloch? Come...
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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