I’m sixteen and fit to work but Isadore, the foreman at the tannery, is telling me he’s seen more meat on a chicken. Too small, run on home, he says.

If you know what you’re doing, you can read the heavy smell in here coming off the vats of gleaming, bubbling cowhides. One deep breath and my pops could tell you whether the animal was old or diseased or stressed when it died. The animals don’t suffer, the rabbi told me; there isn’t a single nick on his knife. To be honest, it just smells like rot to me, but I puff up like a wild turkey anyway and tell Isadore that it’s my right to work here in the same tannery my pops worked, making Goodyear welt army boots to ship overseas.

People on couch
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