Lemon tree very pretty
And the lemon flower sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon
Is impossible to eat

~Will Holt

The Lemon: Longevity, Purification, Love, Innocence


Curiosity got the best of Little Alex, as it always had and always will, come to time indefinite. And oh my, my, my. The things that old devotchka would leave for my Angel. Boots, a bracelet that slid right off her malenky hand, rubber ducks (which I threw in the trash as quickly as humanly possible, as they stared at me with certain malicious intentions), and even some flowery stickers and the fancy things small ones put in their luscious glory to make a statement.

Soon every krovvy day we took the 396 steps to see what dorogoy treasures were waiting at the base of the starry, fat tree. Not every day was there a present, and on such days as these, Little Angel would glance up at me with the most dazzling, horrorshow, stunningly beautiful glazzies and say, "My mama forgot me."

Oh, those words. Those words made me mad. They made me terribly mad.

I would itty back to our home with her after the usual swing, holding her very close to my tik-toker as if this would keep her safe from all the nadmenny and disgusting fellows of the world. At moments, I would viddy very, very far ahead of myself; see Angel in a white dress, leaving me alone once more. The ptitsa had not nachinated going to skolliwoll yet, and I was already picturing myself with one foot in the grave, an old man.

I hoped very much I would not be a grumpy old moodge, snapping at the nadsat ones. "Get off of me sodding lawn, you gloopy punks!"

"When I was a kid…!"

"Bloody hell, leave me be!"

My own Pee was not what you would be soon to call a grumpy, gloopy moodge, but he most certainly has his unhappy moments. But don't we all?

"Your Mama has not forgotten about you at all," I skazzed very seriously, because I really had no idea as to what was true and what was not true these blasted days. Our Charlotte must have cared, at least a malenky bit, to spend all this raz sending us lovely gifts.

Perhaps she is afraid to just come on out and say it, I want to tell Little Angel. But what would there be for Charlotte to be so spoogly about? Was she frightened of Your Humble Narrator, my friends, or of what may be his unwelcoming greeting? One may not messel I would ever not want her back, but lately I have been having my doubts, O brothers.


On one such day where I stayed domy and away from the dreaded rabbit, Angel and I sat outside on the green grass and munched on cheese and crackers. While I myself preferred the salty type of crackers, Angel was beyond happy with her graham crackers. That is all she ever vonnied of, either graham cookies or waxy crayons. No matter the amount of soap I used to scrub it out, it always bloody stayed on the skin of her plott. By now, I was used to it and would not have it any other way. Crayons and crackers were my dva sladky vons.

After an eegra of Opposites, Angel wanted a raskazz. Very carefully I osooshied some crumbs from around her rot and asked, "And what would that be about, my dear?"

"An elephant," she mumbled, for she was a touchy, irritable thing, "and Mama."

Never had Little Alex slooshied such an idea from my ptitsa, and the odin thing that came to my rassoodock from those words made me feel quite ashamed, in fact. I held back a smeck, beginning, "Once upon a time, there was a great, fat elephant called Alex. He loved eggiweggs."

"So do I!" Angel interrupted.

With a scowl, I shooshed her and pressed onward. "And one day, this eggiwegg he was about to eat started gov-talking to him, saying, 'Please do not eat me, sir! I am a kind, good eggiwegg, pure of heart…But dim of wit.'"

By now I was not absolute Angel understood my slovoees, but oh well, my brothers, that's jeezny."And Alex said, 'Fine. I will not eat you. But I am a lonely elephant, so to prove you are a good eggiwegg, you must marry me.'"

The words, 'Marry me,' made my little one giggle and hide her litso from me, as if it were something dirty.

"So Alex and the eggiwegg, Charlotte, were married, on a warm, fresh day in July," I went on, which was actually true. And he stomped on her while she was asleep, and then ate her up. Your Humble Narrator nearly skazzed with like a ridiculous grin, but I stopped myself, because that would upset poor Little Angel. "And they lived together very happily in New Orleans, in America, where they had a nanny, four dogs, a kitty cat, and one little baby named Angel."

"That's-that's my name!"

I poked her adorable morder. "Yes, it is."

"Can we have eggiweggs for supper?" she asked in a whisper, almost like she was worried a no would be the answer.

"Righty right," I tell her. "Eggiweggs it is, then."