The cart creaked, its wheels full of summer dust, as the peddler pushed it gently up the slope of the road, past the first houses, and onto the main street of the village.
It was late afternoon, nearly dusk, and the sun had a lazy warmth to it. It was the sort of heat that invited the farmers–who left their country plots and visited the village square at the noon hour to trade–to remain longer beneath the shade of the great canopy tree in the very centre of the plaza. They sat on the small lip of stone that surrounded the circle of earth that was home to the tree, sharing bottles of wine. They hardly looked up when the peddler pushed his cart to the tree and thumped the wheels against the ring of stone.
This part of the land was far from the war.
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