Here I am, at a time when we Jews are quietly minding our own business and our neighbour is called Olmo who spends half the day quarrelling with his wife, and if you have nothing better to do you can stand behind the door and hear every word. And the street still has its houses, in each of which something has happened to me. I’m not allowed to leave it, the street – Father has strictly forbidden me. Often I don’t believe his reason for this, but sometimes I do: that there is a boundary, an invisible one, beyond which children are snatched away. No one knows where it runs, that’s the sneaky part. It seems to be constantly changing, and before you know it you’ve crossed it. Only in our own street, it seems, are children relatively safe, safest of all outside their own house. My friends, with whom I discuss this enormous problem are of two opinions. The know-it-alls laugh, but there are others who have already heard about it too.
I ask: ‘What’ll happen to me if they catch me?’
Father replies: ‘It’s better for you not to know.’