Cold Passion

We answer: ‘We don’t want to work for you, madam. We don’t want to eat your soup or your bread. We are not hungry.’
She asks: ‘Then why are you begging?’
‘To find out what effect it has and to observe people’s reactions.’
She walks off, shouting: ‘Dirty little hooligans! And impertinent too!’
On our way home, we throw the apples, the biscuits, the chocolate, and the coins in the tall grass by the roadside.
It is impossible to throw away the stroking on our hair.

Ágota Kristóf, The Notebook. Grove Press, 1997.

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