Klaus, Germany – Level 3

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The straw bales lay scattered on the harvested cornfield like yellow boulders and gave the first inkling of an approaching autumn.

At some point a few of these wheels made their way down the sloping field towards the valley. The first rolled into an electricity pylon. Another landed in the front yard of a house whose inhabitants were away. They would be surprised when they return and catch a glimpse of this rounded monstrosity. Another plopped into a ditch, where it created a small reservoir.

The last one rolled along the village street, crashed into a car and came to a halt in the sidewalk restaurant, the only pizzeria in town. After the initial shock it became a great sitting area and the village sensation. Here couples began to meet and many a straw fire was kindled.

At the end of the summer the pizza man fed his oven with the yellow straw until nothing was left. The next year guests supplied a new straw bale and so it became a tradition of the pizzeria. The pizza man changed the name of the restaurant. From that time on it was called „Il fuoco di paglia”, that is, the Straw Fire.


author: Klaus Gehling