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Life Arts    H4'ed 2/27/15

Meeting Lila

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"No," father said, "just this." He showed them a printed letter and read, "Notice of foreclosure of mortgage and order to vacate."

Mother closed her eyes and her head sank.

"What does that mean?" Lila asked.

"It means we don't own this farm and house anymore. We have to leave," father said in a stunned whisper.

"Did somebody take it?" Lila asked.

"The bank took it," father said. "Grandpa had to borrow money from the bank to buy the special corn seeds. Then he had to borrow more money to buy the chemicals the seeds need to grow and to kill the bugs. Before they loaned him the money, the bank made him sign that they could take the farm and house if he didn't pay it back. He thought he would be able to pay it back because the seed company said their seeds would produce lots of corn. But they didn't. They actually produced less than the old kind of seeds. So he didn't get enough money to pay the bank back. He was trying to get them to wait so he could pay them later. We talked about worried he was, but he hoped they would wait. But now we know they didn't. Now they own all this...and they want us to go."

"Can we fight them?" brother asked.

Father shook his head. "They have the police and soldiers on their side." He put one arm around his son and his hand on his daughter's head as she sat on the floor. "We didn't want you to worry about this, so we didn't tell you."

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William T. Hathaway is the author of eight books and was a Fulbright professor of creative writing at universities in Germany, where he currently lives. His environmental novel, Wellsprings: A Fable of Consciousness, tells of an old woman and a (more...)

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