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Awake (Fanni Balasj)

Wake up to a rooster crowing? It's impossible for me. I'm used to it so much that I don't even

notice it. A brook behind the garden with a wild-duck pair coming back every spring, and the

smell of fertilizer. They are all part of village life. We build a snowman with my brother every

winter, on my birthday I always have a grill party in the garden. I just have to go out the door

to enjoy the sunshine and some fresh air.

When I was younger I planned to write a novel about our adventures behind the garden. We

always played next to the brook, or – inadvertently – we also played in the brook. Once we

saved a chicken with my brother. It was behind our back door so we thought it escaped from

our neighbour who has a dozen chickens. My brother grasped it and threw it into the

neighbours garden. It turned out a few minutes later that an old lady who lived a bit further let

her chickens out so they could eat some fresh grass. We’ve never told about it anyone and our

neighbour never complained about having too much chickens.

But slowly I grew up. It wasn’t interesting anymore to play in the backyard. I wanted to go to

the cinema and go shopping with friends or just having a chat in a cafe. I started to think

about how much more comfortable it is to live in a town. Be at a party without the thought

that I have to go home with the last bus at 9 pm. or wait for the first bus in the morning. I

could save hours every day without traveling between my village and my school. The only

store here closes at 1 pm on weekdays and it is closed all weekend. Did I forget to buy

something? It's almost a daylong program to get it from the closest town.

And there is the big question: Can I live in a village all my life? Can I get a job here? Young

people move to town. Old people die. And in the end there's no one.

And yet, I will stay here as long as possible. I’m still a girl who loves snowmen, chickens and

never wakes up because of crow.

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