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A short story in small instalments: PART VIII

He came to see how absurd it was that he seldom he touched his children and grandchildren. How could he leave unexpressed all the love he felt? Now he embraced them whenever he saw them, the six-year-old within propelling him forward on pumping legs to throw his arms around them inexpertly and then cover them in clumsy kisses. This seemed to cause alarm, but the youngest ones soon got into the spirit of it. In the garden, Olivero Russo turned over stones to help the children search from crawly things and then dug the earth beneath and shaped it into damp berms.

“Smell how good it is,” said Olivero Russo, and his grandchildren put their noses into the dirt.

He spent hours with Tessa and Titus, Felicio and Fausta, Natalia and Napoleon; and even the ruffians, Ambra and Alexander, joined in. And they built a vast network of obstacle courses for bugs. His daughters scolded him for getting their children so dirty and then they cast worried looks amongst themselves.

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