Katie and the Lemon Tree by Esther Bender

By Esther Bender

Balt-i-mo Ha-bo (harbor), chants the dockhand. What an odd position! dust and noise; white humans dashing, yelling; black humans pulling, pushing! Can this be the United States? whereas Katie guards her chest, she reveals a lemon, and in it a seed of desire.

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Example text

Carefully, she placed the cup with its seeds on the chest where they would have precious light. And God will give the increase.  Many things called them forth from the depths of her mind.  All that happened to her was shaped by the Bible.  Katie wondered.  The cold wind frosted the window in lacy patterns.  She worried that some evening he might lose his way and freeze to death.  Daniel tended cattle every day at the Hostetler's barn in exchange for hay and shelter for their horse.  It was time to put the tiny lemon tree to bed.

When Indian summer arrived, the one­room cabin was done. The one­room cabin had a fireplace for cooking and heating.  A pair of gray squirrels scampered about, plumping and waving their tails.  My new country is so beautiful!  She lingered a moment longer, then turned to her unpacking.  Slowly, she opened it. On top was the coverlet made by her mother.  Dark blotches appeared on the fabric. " She rocked back and forth, eyes closed, and sang the words in a soft, trembling voice.  Then she danced round and round the cabin, singing and humming to herself, filled with a joy she could not explain.

Carefully, she placed the cup with its seeds on the chest where they would have precious light. And God will give the increase.  Many things called them forth from the depths of her mind.  All that happened to her was shaped by the Bible.  Katie wondered.  The cold wind frosted the window in lacy patterns.  She worried that some evening he might lose his way and freeze to death.  Daniel tended cattle every day at the Hostetler's barn in exchange for hay and shelter for their horse.  It was time to put the tiny lemon tree to bed.

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