Simon and the Oaks





The Summer of 1939

On the 14th of January I and my

exquisite caravan of four men

and three splendid male camels headed for the desert.

We brought provisions for fifty days

but were away for four months.

We left civilization behind and

quite soon we saw nothing but sand.

I tried to find shelter for

my camel and myself from the storm

that raged incessantly for two days.

Why isn't he like all the other kids?

He doesn't have any friends, Karin...

He never wants to go sailing...

never do any woodwork.

He never wants to play or pick fights

like all the other boys.

He stays at home reading.

Loads of books for grown-ups

that you give him.

The only friend he's got is that

goddamn tree that whispers things... he says.

But I've worked it out. With a bike

it'll save us the tram fare-

It's not about the money.

Can't you see?

Going to that stuck-up grammar

school will only make everything worse.

He might find some friends there.

He went there by himself and he applied...

Keep your guard up.

That's where I'll hit you.

Keep your guard up, I've told you.

Do as I say, goddammit!

But dad, why must I learn how to fight?

If someone insults you, he's asking for a fat punch.

Some insults you don't take. Like

being called a coward, or a wimp.

Try to hit my hands.

Keep your guard up and

go for it this time. From the body!

You really want to go to that fancy school, don't you?

And I'm supposed to pay for it?

- Yes...

How the hell will you cope,

when you can't even split a tiny log?

Old bastard...

I might agree to...

Is it true?

If you can wrestle me.

- I give up!

- Can I go?

- On two conditions, Simon.

- Yes?

Don't let those fops down there

make you forget where you're from.

And you find yourself real friends

and forget that goddamn oak.

Promise me that, Simon.

Good morning. Welcome back.

Good morning.

- Oops! Sorry! Are you new here?

- Yes.

I'll show you.

Give me your bag.


Jew bastard.

Go back to Germany, Jew scum.

Look at him. He's ugly.


- Can we pass?

- Don't think so.

- The Germans are coming for you.

- Please, just let us pass.

- The slimy little Jew can talk...

- Jew lover, eh?

What the hell are you doing?

You're insane!


I'm Isak.


Are you sure?

This is good!

No... this is good.

- Woodwork is pretty fun.

- Me, I like history classes best.

Or all classes, really.

Come on then!

It's my dad's bookshop.

The whole shop?

Do you want to come upstairs?

Good afternoon.

Good afternoon.

Come on, then!

One more time. Please...

What's that noise?

Isak, is that you?

Yes, mother.

My sweet little boy.

Good afternoon.

Isak, aren't you going to introduce me to your friend?

This is my friend, Simon Larsson.

You go ahead and eat.

Tell Frau Svensson to bring me a

cup of tea and fig marmalade.

Does your mother always stay in her room?

She's afraid of the Nazis.

Frau Svensson! Hurry up!

Hello Isak.

Good afternoon.

Simon Larsson.

Ruben Lentov, pleased to meet you.

So... how was school today?

- Same as always.


History class today was about

explorers and expeditions and

our teacher said that if there's

anything to learn, it's from history.

Ruben, is that you?

I just might have a good book on explorative expeditions.

I'll see if I can find it.

I'm coming!

They have so many rooms

and hundreds of books on gigantic bookshelves

and a maid that serves you food.

And they have a chandelier that...


Take your cap off.

...and a piano, and when you strike

a key it makes a beautiful sound.

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Marnie Blok


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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Simon and the Oaks" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 6 May 2021. <>.

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