A Storyby Josip Novakovich
Place: Daruvar, Socialist Republic of Croatia, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Doctor Maric held up the injection with a thin needle, which gleamed in the beam of the morning sun; he held it up as though aiming for the sky and said, This is a wonderful thing. It won’t hurt at all, and it will prevent your children from getting the measles.
They stick a needle into you? asked Lyerka. I’m scared of needles.
It won’t hurt at all, Nenad, her father, replied.
How do you know?
I’ve had lots of those when I was sick.
A boy in front of them cried.
So why is he crying?
From fear, not pain, explained the doctor.
I won’t cry, she said.