The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Well done when he took the cigarette and breathed it

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Unformatted text preview: how powerless a person could be WITHOUT words. That’s why she could climb higher than anyone else. She had desire. She was hungry for them. One day, however, she met a man who was despised by her homeland, even though he was born in it. They became good friends, and when the man was sick, the word shaker allowed a single teardrop to fall on his face. The tear was made of friendship—a single word—and it dried and became a seed, and when next the girl was in the forest, she planted that seed among the other trees. She watered it every day. At first, there was nothing, but one afternoon, when she checked it after a day of word-shaking, a small sprout had shot up. She stared at it for a long time. The tree grew every day, faster than everything else, till it was the tallest tree in the forest. Everyone came to look at it. They all whispered about it, and they waited . . . for the Fuhrer. Incensed, he immediately ordered the tree to be cut down. That was when the word shaker made her way through the crowd. She fell to her hands and Knees. “Please,” she cried, “you can’t cut it down.” The Führer, however, was unmoved. He could not afford to make exceptions. As the word shaker was dragged away, he turned to his right-hand man and made a request. “Ax, please.” AT THAT moment, the word shaker twisted free. She ran. She boarded the tree, and even as the Führer hammered at the trunk with his ax, she climbed until she reached the highest of the branches. The voices and ax beats continued faintly on. Clouds walked by—like white monsters with gray hearts. Afraid but stubborn, the word shaker remained. She waited for the tree to fall. But the tree would not move. Many hours passed, and still, the Führer’s ax could not take a single bite out of the trunk. In a state nearing collapse, he ordered another man to continue. Days passed. Weeks took over. A hundred and ninety-six soldiers could not make any impact on the word shaker’s tree. “But how does she eat?” the people...
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