from Small Memories by Jose Saramago #2

Leonard Durso

The rain is pouring down, the wind is shaking the leafless trees, and from times past comes an image, that of a tall, thin man, an old man, I realise, now that he draws nearer along the sodden track. He is carrying a crook over his shoulder and wears an ancient, muddy cape from which drip all the rains of heaven. Before him go the pigs, heads down, snouts to the ground. The man approaching, blurred amongst the teeming rain, is my grandfather. He looks weary. He bears on his back seventy years of a hard life full of privations and ignorance. And yet he is a wise man, taciturn, one who opens his mouth to speak when necessary. Indeed he speaks so little that we all fall silent to hear him when a kind of warning light illuminates his face. He has a strange way of gazing into the…

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