Attheendoftheday,outsideofanurseryschool,ayoungboywandersawayfromhisteachersandclassmatesandburieshimselfbeneathamoundofleavesthathaveaccumulatedinthecirculardriveway。

Whencarsbegintoarrivetopickuptheotherkids,helaysflatonhisbackwithandholdshisbreathastheypassoverhim,overhisfortofleaves,tiresoneither?

side。

Ten,twenty,thirtyyearsfromnow,theboywilldreamofthesensation:aclaustrophiliacrush,therumblingofenginesoverhead,thesmelloftheoil,theheatofthemetalsoclosetohisbody。

Heremembersfeelingsafelyenveloped,everytime,inthecocoonofsoftcrunchyfeathers。

Hehearshisteachercallinghisname,andothervoices。

Peoplearelookingfor?

him。

Hepopsupandoutfromunderthepile。

“Hi,”hecallsout,laughing,andseesthattherearenotmanyofhisclassmatesleft。

It’sjusthisteacher,andnowacoupleofotherteachers,andthreeorfourotherchildrenstandinginfrontoftheschool。

Histeacher’sfacegoeswhiteandsheandhercolleaguesruntohimandgrabhimandpullhimroughlybyhis?

arms。

They’reangry,shouting,andhedoesn’tknowwhy。

There’schaosandthenworryandsofttalkingbeforehismotherarrivesanddriveshim?

home。

Couldthisreallyhavehappened?

Hewillbewonderingfortherestofhis?

life。

(Previously。