That evening Hasan’s wife made stuffed vine leaves. Hasan was brooding. “One olive tree,” he muttered. “Oneolive tree, sitting in that man’s garden. I know God will one day hear my prayer and give me back my olive tree. I just pray it is before that man attacks our home!”“Oh no! Not that stupid olive tree again!” Groaned Hasan’s wife. “Stop complaining and eat your
.”“I know what that man is thinking!” cried Nicolas to his wife as they sat down to eat.“He is sitting there and looking at my land and saying to himself ‘I shall have this Greek’s land!’”“Rubbish!” cried Nicolas’ wife. “Why would an old man sit and think such thoughts?”“Because he is a Turk!” shouted Nicolas earnestly. “That is how they think! They never change!” Nicolas’ wifesighed.“Be quiet and eat your
,” she said setting down his plate of stuffed vine leaves.When Hasan’s wife woke up early the next morning Hasan was not in the house. She made the most of the day. It was days like these that made one appreciate the blessings of marriage. At noon Hasan returnednursing four little parcels. Without asking where lunch was he headed straight to the bottom of the garden. Hespent most of the afternoon there.Hasan stood up. He smiled. Before him, stood four delicate little olive trees. New and fresh, and full of hope. Hispride and joy. Compensation for the one he had lost to the Greeks. Suddenly he heard footsteps and voices.Hasan impulsively hid behind the shed. Nicolas appeared with his five-year-old grandson. They were talking.“Grandpa,” said the little boy. “May I eat an olive?”“Of course! Just run inside and ask your Grandma.”“No! Off the tree!” The little boy pointed to the lone olive tree standing near the house. Nicolas laughed.“You cannot eat olives straight off the tree my son. They are too bitter.”“Did you plant that olive tree Grandpa?”Hasan stiffened. He waited for the answer, his whole body tense.