Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll

outside of it. Indeed, a true vogue for experimentation had swept that part of Tórshavn right before World War I. The trees had grown quickly, and the beautiful crowns with their conspicuous light green leaves provided pleasure to almost five generations of west city inhabitants, not to mention to the countless starlings and sparrows that had sat and whistled or chirped in the branches throughout the years. Now the trees had stopped growing, that much was obvious from the uppermost branches, which were leafless, barkless, and broke off easily. Light green and reddish carpets of moss grew up the trunks, and when the sun was shining, golden beams of light seeped through the loosely woven crowns. Actually, the trees were coming to resemble the people over which they watched. And there was nothing strange about that. The roots, after all, had long been imbibing bodily fluids; eventually, one becomes what one drinks. The gravel crunched under the soles of his boots, and when Eigil reached the graves of the nameless children, he stopped like he always did. He knew nothing of their history. Presumably, they were stillborns or newborns taken by some sudden, devastating death. The graves looked exactly like the zinc tubs in which women used to wash clothes. However, they had no bottoms. They also had no cross at their heads, and the tubs were upturned on the grass. In the months of June and July, buttercups and orchids grew out of the holes in the tubs; their stalks waved yellow and reddish-blue summer flags.


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