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The Brothers Lionheart

And down the mountain slopes, streams and waterfalls ran into the valley so that it sang of it, for it was spring.

There was something special about the air, too. It felt as if you could drink it, it was so pure and clean.

“They could do with a few kilos of this air back home,” I said, as I remembered how I used to long for air as I lay on my kitchen sofa-bed, feeling as if there were no air at all.

But here there was, and I breathed in as much of it as I could. It was as if I couldn’t have enough of it. Jonathan laughed at me and said:

“You might leave a little for me, you know.”

The path we were on was white with fallen cherry blossoms, and fine white petals came whirling down on us, so that we got them in our hair and everywhere, but I like small green paths with cherry blossom petals on them, I really do.

And at the end of the path lay Knights Farm with the green notice on the gate.

“The Lionheart Brothers,” I read aloud to Jonathan. “Just think this is where we’re going to live.”

“Yes, think of that, Rusky,” said Jonathan. “Isn’t it fine?”

And it was fine. I understood why Jonathan thought so. For my part, I couldn’t even imagine anywhere better to live.

An old white house, not at all big, with green timbers and a green door and a bit of green ground all around, where cowslips and saxifrage and daisies grew in the grass. Lilacs and cherry trees too, in full bloom, and around it all was a stone wall, a little gray wall with pink flowers on it. You could have jumped over it easily, but nevertheless, once inside the gate, that wall felt as if it protected you from everything outside; it felt as if then you were home and on your own.

Actually there were two houses there, not just one, though the other one was more like a stable or something like that. They lay at an angle to each other, and just where they met was an old bench that looked as if it had come from Stone Age, almost. It was a nice bench and a nice corner, anyhow. You almost felt like sitting there and thinking a little, or talking and looking at the birds and perhaps drinking fruit juice or something.

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