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Unformatted text preview: aluable.
The frustration of that appearance, as you can imagine, was its complete misleadence, let’s say. There most
definitely was value in him, and it did not go unnoticed by Liesel Meminger. (The human child—so much
cannier at times than the stupefyingly ponderous adult.) She saw it immediately.
The quiet air around him.
When he turned the light on in the small, callous washroom that night, Liesel observed the strangeness of her
foster father’s eyes. They were made of kindness, and silver. Like soft silver, melting. Liesel, upon seeing those
eyes, understood that Hans Hubermann was worth a lot.
SOME FACTS ABOUT
She was five feet, one inch tall and wore her
browny gray strands of elastic hair in a bun.
To supplement the Hubermann income, she did
the washing and ironing for five of the wealthier
households in Molching.
Her cooking was atrocious.
She possessed the unique ability to aggravate
almost anyone she ever met.
But she did love Liesel Meminger.
Her way of showing it just happened to be strange.
It involved bashing her with wooden spoon and words
at various intervals.
When Liesel finally had a bath, after two weeks of living on Himmel Street, Rosa gave her an enormous, injuryinducing hug. Nearly choking her, she said, “ Saumensch, du dreckiges—it’s about time!”
After a few months, they were no longer Mr. and Mrs. Hubermann. With a typical fistful of words, Rosa said,
“Now listen, Liesel—from now on you call me Mama.” She thought a moment. “What did you call your real
Liesel answered quietly. “Auch Mama—also Mama.”
“Well, I’m Mama Number Two, then.” She looked over at her husband. “And him over there.” She seemed to
collect the words in her hand, pat them together, and hurl them across the table. “That Saukerl, that filthy pig—
you call him Papa, verstehst? Understand?”
“Yes,” Liesel promptly agreed. Quick answers were appreciated in this household.
“Yes, Mama,” Mama corrected her. “Saumensch. Call me Mama when you talk to me.” At that moment, Hans Huberm...
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- Winter '13