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Fadel's Garden & The Watch and the Fairytale

Fadel's Garden & The Watch and the Fairytale

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Fadel's Garden & The Watch and the Fairytale

93 pagine
1 ora
Nov 5, 2020


"It was as if a huge splendid rainbow had fallen from the sky and settled in his backyard. The rainbow was not only made up of many colors. It was also made up of titillating smells. It emitted the scent of the bamboo plants; lemon trees; the chocolate vines, and the licorice smell of the yellow roses that climbed the trellis." Fadel's Garden is a wonderful story woven imaginatively and creatively. Anna Viscione takes you by the hand and opens your eyes to a brand-new world of fantasy and dreams
Nov 5, 2020

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Fadel's Garden & The Watch and the Fairytale - Anna Viscione


Fadel’s Garden

Once in a country that could be your country, or my country, or anyone’s country, there lived an old woman who was short and round. She had only one breast because she had lost the other one to a serious illness that she had had long ago. She was a curious looking old woman who shuffled when she walked because the medicine she took to prevent the illness from returning made her bones brittle and it was difficult for her to move. She lived with her two pugs and five cats because they loved her unconditionally, and she loved them. She had lived too long and had experienced too much to ever find anything to make her believe in the goodness of people. Her neighbors shunned her because she was odd and she ignored them because she had no use for them. Their absence made her world more comfortable. Her world was indeed comfortable and predictable, but it was also colorless, sparsely populated, and had no magic or wonder in it at all. She lived quietly with only one neighbor on her right, and a huge vacant house on her left. It seemed like the For Sale sign in front of the vacant house had been there forever.

The house had a big backyard with a large oak tree growing in the middle of it. The old woman was pleased with the oak tree because it looked as old as she was, even older and taller. During the day, it seemed to reach toward the sky to catch the sun, and at night, it looked as though it had trapped the moon in its branches. It brought the old woman peace and contentment.

One day, things changed. The old woman heard the racket going on, and when she went outside, she saw the tree was being cut down and the for sale sign was gone. Someone had bought the house. The old woman panicked. Who was going to be her new neighbor, and why had they cut down the oak tree that had been like a friend to her? She had never touched the tree or stood under its protective shade, so it was more like a distant friend, but still a friend all the same.

She began to watch the house and the yard hoping to get a peek at her new neighbor, who, she was quite sure, she would not like any better than she liked the rest of the neighbors. A van came several times to deliver furniture to the house. All of the pieces of furniture were beautiful. For example, there was an unusual mosaic dining room table, and several crystal chandeliers, but the old woman was not impressed. What if, she thought, it is a family with lots of children who will try to hurt my pets? They obviously don’t like trees. Maybe they don’t like animals either. The vans came, unloaded their splendid treasure of beautiful things and left. Still there was no sign of a new neighbor.

The old woman noticed that there was a hubbub of activity going on in the backyard. Workers were coming in and spending hours putting in flagstones, where there used to be grass, building a smoke pit, and adding a fountain. The fountain looked more like a pond. It had rocks with jagged edges and when the water trickled down the rocks, it made a restful soothing sound that was like a lullaby. It brought back to the old woman recollections of a faraway time. The workers came daily, added fish and frogs to the pond, surrounded the smoke pit with chairs, labored until their shirts were wet with sweat, and then went home. Still there was no sign of the new neighbor.

Then one day, a day without vans or workers, the old woman saw him. He was a young man who looked to be about thirty-five years old. He was bald and had olive skin, and big dark eyes. The old woman was satisfied to see that her new neighbor was a single man. The less people the better. She was also satisfied to see that he was holding a cat carrier. That meant he must like animals because he had one of his own.

The first night in his new home, the young man stood outside in his backyard bathed in summer and moonlight. The old woman sat on her porch and watched him. She could not see his face, but somehow she knew he was smiling. She could feel his smile. It was soft and warm like a summer night.

Even though she had never wanted children, she thought to herself, if I had a son he would have been about his age, and he would have had that same soft smile.

The young man stood in the middle of his backyard with all the emptiness around him, lost in thought as though he was planning or dreaming of something wonderful that he was going to make happen. He was like an artist staring at a blank canvas, knowing that with the right combination of light and shadow, and palettes of the most uproarious colors and softest hues, he was about to begin to create a work of art and endless joy that never could be truly finished.

That summer the young man worked feverishly creating a garden. He planted bulbs and bushes, vegetables and herbs. Every plant was put in just the right place, and every place welcomed, lovingly, its special plant as though it was embracing a soul mate. There were fruit trees and butterfly bushes, vines and roses. Everything in this young man’s garden had a niche, and every niche was filled. It was a very lush garden.

There was a huge bronze mailbox in the front yard that looked like a tree with a boy sitting in its branches reading a book. Every day the mailman came and stuffed the mailbox with garden magazines and seed catalogs. Just as the mailman filled the mailbox to overflowing with the catalogs the young man filled his garden to overflowing with more flowers.

The old woman heard the young man say, I want more roses. I want more color. I want my garden to look like a fairytale from the Arabian Nights.

By the next summer that is exactly what the garden looked like. It looked like a garden planted by Aladdin himself. It was a garden mystical with a dreamy enchantment that made the old woman think there might be fairies hiding in the bushes with the butterflies.

The young man’s name was Fadel and he had been born in Jerusalem. In the early morning hours when Fadel tended to his garden, the old woman would come to the fence and talk with him. Fadel never invited the old woman into his garden, as he did some of the neighbors, but he was very friendly and liked to talk about the latest roses he planted or the flowers he was thinking of adding.

Fadel was always adding something to his garden. If it wasn’t a flower, a tree, bush, or bulb, it was something decorative like a trellis or pergola. His garden was copious with birdhouses and butterfly houses.

He had a special section of his garden devoted to his roses. The old woman thought his roses outranked all the other flowers. They were so delicate and yet so hearty. Each rose had its own scent, and when the roses mingled their perfume, the air was rich with a new sweetness unlike any perfume the old woman had ever smelled.

Fadel had placed a commemorative stone near his roses. It read, To Rateba, my mother. She loved her children the way she loved her roses. Now her spirit can dwell in my garden forever.

One day Fadel told the old woman his mother had sent him away when he was only thirteen because he told his family he would never marry and have children. He had different goals, and what he liked were not, necessarily, the things his family liked. His mother had sent him away to protect him because, in his country, if you do not meet certain expectations when it comes to marriage or lifestyles, your family can kill you and go unpunished. It is called honor killing.

Fadel said it didn’t matter how his family felt because he had, for his child, a Persian

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