Sleepless Dreams

by Noemi Szadeczky-Kardoss

If I had all the time I wanted,
I would write a research paper on the history of roller-coasters,
I would spend hours every day in the library reading ancient Greek myths,
I would take a part-time job where all I had to do
was clean babies after they had come out of their mothers,
wash them and then wrap them in their little blankets.
If I had all that time,
I would never say again to anyone,
“Sorry I don’t have time for you now,”
I would write long emails to my family and friends, no,
I would send them real letters.
If I had all the time I wanted,
I would paint flowers and I would knit Christmas stockings,
I would have lunch every day and I would read you this story now.

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The Forgotten Garden

by Noemi Szadeczky-Kardoss

We are just newcomers on this planet. Those, who arrived here before us, have every right to claim that it belongs to them. We marvel at things they hold to be commonplace, and they laugh at our childlike curiosity.

“Look! There’s a cat! It’s coming down the path!” my ten-year-old brother said and pointed down the valley.

“Yeah, I see it! It’s black and white.” I was holding the binoculars to my eyes and followed the cat’s way down the path which was paved with stone slabs.

“I want to see it too! Give that to me!” he demanded and snatched the binoculars out of my hand.

“Hey, don’t drop it!”

“I won’t,” he said and started to sweep the distant trees and bushes. “Where’s the cat? I don’t see it.”

In that moment, I didn’t see it either. It had probably stopped somewhere under the leaves.

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Budapest Bus Number Eight

by Noemi Szadeczky-Kardoss

Bus Number Eight shudders to a halt at its final stop at Gazdagrét and gives a big sigh.

“Pssssssssshhhhhh,” he says and opens his doors.

His passengers clamber down the steep stairs. One of them, an old lady carrying a large basket, heads for the grocery store across the street. Two young mothers with strollers and gurgling babies help each other get off the bus, then walk towards the park hiding among the eleven-storied apartment blocks.

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Why are the Clouds so Pretty?

by Noemi Szadeczky-Kardoss

Have you ever wondered why are the clouds so pretty?

Well, there was once a Butterfly, who wanted to find the answer to that question. This Butterfly decided to fly to the clouds, and she was very determined. Nobody could talk her out of that resolution, and no argument or reasoning could persuade her to change her mind. When her friends saw they had tried everything, and she only became more stubborn, they changed their ground.

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For My Father

by Noemi Szadeczky-Kardoss


For the first time in my life, I don’t know which way to go.

When I was little, it was easy. I just had to follow the arrows, and they lead me to you. You drew them on the sidewalks with white chalk so that I would find my way from the playground to your workplace. Do you remember? You used to let me play as long as I wanted, but you never stayed with me. The work couldn’t wait, you used to say. But before you left, you always made sure the arrows were still visible on the sidewalks. If the rain had washed them away, you drew them again.

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An Ant Tale

by Noemi Szadeczky-Kardoss

The little Ant was on her way home from work, and she was pushing a large breadcrumb in front of her.

“Heave-ho, heave-ho,” she kept repeating. At every ‘heave,’ she gathered her strength, and at every ‘ho,’ she thrust the crumb forward. Every day, she crawled along the same path this way. That was why she wasn’t looking left or right, she just went on briskly, so that she would be back at the nest as soon as possible.

“Hi! How are you?” a friend greeted her when she arrived at the nest. The little Ant was about to tell her how she was, but her friend didn’t wait for a reply. She ran along after her business. Then another friend came by.

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When Grandma Dies

by Noemi Szadeczky-Kardoss

It was already very late, but we couldn’t sleep. We climbed up to the loft, and opened the window. My sister had to stand on a chair to see anything, my brother stood on a smaller chair, and I stood on the floor.

“I never want to grow up,” said my sister.

“Me neither,” my brother said.

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