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Rice and Bullets

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Lieanne
Words 2129
Pages 9
RICE AND BULLETS Hernando R. Ocampo
Without taking his breakfast, Tura left the house very early in the morning with an old jute sack slung across his shoulder. Long ago the sack had contained rice for his family—for his daughters Ine and Clara, for his little son Totoy, and for his wife Marta. But now the jute sack was bulging with the sharp, hard edges of three big stones which he had gathered the night before.
"What are those stones for"? Marta asked.
"Mister Remulla said we must have three big stones in our sack. He said these stones would represent the three biggest islands in our country," Tura explained.
"What are you going to do with them?" Marta asked.
"I don't know," Tura answered, seemingly peeved. “Mister Remulla said that with these stones we'll soon have something to eat, and that is all I care about. He told us we ought not to be hungry. We have as much right to eat and live as the proprietarious have."
Marta had ceased to ask further questions. At the mention of rice she had suddenly seemed satisfied. But this morning, before Tura left, she asked again, "Are you sure there will be no trouble?"
"How could there be? Mister Remulla knows what he is doing. He said that is what they do in America. He came from America. He ought to know." And slinging the jute sack with the big stones across his shoulder, Tura left his wife on the threshold, while his three children, ill-clad and ill-nourished, looked sheepishly on.
Out in the street Tura wondered how things would have ended for all of them had not Mister Remulla arrived, but there was no use of that now. Mister Remulla had come. That was the important thing. And soon they'd no longer be hungry. They'd have rice; Mister Remulla said so.

And thinking of this, Tura felt his unshod feet become lighter and nimbler, and in a short while he had covered the length of the narrow unpaved street...

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