“Nachman sat for hours at the window hoping for the magical machine that had appeared for the first time weeks ago. Most days it was nowhere to be seen, but on this day he could tell from the racket at the gate’s entrance that it was on its way. He held his breath. The sound came closer and now the machine and its owner stood before his widened eyes. A stooped man in a shabby black jacket and baggy pants cranked a shaft on the side of the barrel shaped box and made beautiful sounds emerge out of its belly. The sounds bounced off the concrete walls and filled the courtyard, seeped into open windows and filled Nachman’s lungs so that he could barely breathe. He had never heard anything so beautiful. He repeated the music in his mind long after the wondrous machine and its master were gone.
Other children were more fascinated by the monkey on the man’s shoulder, but Nachman felt sad for the poor creature, a lively little thing wearing a tight fitting suit. If someone were to put me in the jungle, he thought, and make me wear a coat of fur I would feel equally uncomfortable! But Nachman lived nowhere near a jungle. He lived off Piotrkowska Street in Lodz, Poland, smack in the center of the country.”
If you would like to read more, In the Unlikeliest of Places, is available from:
Wilfrid Laurier University Press:
Or University of Toronto Press (1-800-565-9523)
(Currently unavailable on the Kindle. Check back soon!)