THE PLUM PRESERVES
On that August day, it was copper pots that were most in demand — with a ringing sound, lovingly polished to a shine, with their characteristic reddish tint.
They were very handsome and brought joy to the eyes of the housewives, who were proudly extracting the precious vessels from dark, secret hoards that, for a whole year, had concealed that shining, molten sun of the sort that you can only glimpse on the edge, on the horizon, rarely, at dawn or dusk, and only on a very special morning or evening at that.
Enormous plums, covered in appetizing bright blue tinge, having survived with great difficulty the endless raids of the boys, had finally reached their long-sought Triumph and glistened joyously on bountiful branches, swaying in the rising breezе.
It seemed as if they fully sensed the solemn and not entirely obvious Connection between the suddenly arising Commotion and the inexorably spreading Calmness of the approaching Fall.
The nimble Children flew up the trees in an instant, and, having first taken a bite out of the firm, fragrant side of the most appealing plum, sending forth a spray of sweetly-sour juice, began to fill up countless baskets and bottomless shirtfronts.
Light smoke was already beginning to rise from numerous fires here and there in the yards of Sokyriany, filling the entire little town with a transparent blue fog of Wizardry.
In certain places, the festively polished pots already growled, bubbled, and huffed with the dark, thick Plum mash, blowing out wispy-thin strands of fragrant steam as if through magical nostrils!
Assiduous housewives, having prepared everything beforehand and measured out the Plums and the Sugar, would finally extract small bundles of the noble Bay leaf and small bars of sought-after butter… it would melt slowly and vanish into the mysterious, bubbling depths, leaving behind a fleeting, thin, light streak that would be mercilessly erased by the stirring of a beautiful oar-like spatula.
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