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  • Writer's pictureCorbin Allardice

The Landlord of Dirt - Moyshe Nadir

Should I take strange worms and offer them the apples on my apple tree to eat?

Of course not.

Should I allow them to build a nest in my tree, from which they will inevitably crawl into the very hearts of my apples?

My dirt. My tree. My apple.

Out strange worms!

I am the dirt-landlord.

I must protect my apples.

Try as you might, worms, it won’t help a bit. Spin the sturdiest webs you want beneath the raised wooden arms of my tree, worms.

I wrap a bit of wood in cotton padding, dip it in kerosine, and I set the quiet worms in their nice, quiet homes aflame.

And they burn and burn, and they tremble quietly, oh so quiet. You can’t hear a peep, let alone a shriek.

Not like our heretics at the stake.


How quiet, gentle, and refined they burn.

They don’t scream.

And I stand there with the bit of wood dipped in kerosine and set aflame and raze those who would eat my future apples.

from fun mir tsu dir, nayste verk IV, (New York: Freiheit Publishing co., 1932), 142


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