"The week before, Jake and I had played in his grandparents' garden. I raked leaves into piles and he helped me bag the leaves. The leaves were dry and marvellously light. I added armloads to the red and brown and gold crushed in the plastic sack; Jake picked up a single leaf and made a cautious, thrilled deposit. At one point he put on his superhero frown and charged a hillock of leaves. Wading into its harmless fire, he courageously sprawled. ' 'Ook, 'ook!' he screamed as he rolled in the leaves. I looked, and looked, and looked. Fronds of his yellow hair curled out from the hood's fringe onto his cheeks. He wore his purple quilted jacket, and his thermal khakis with an inch of tartan turn-up, and his blue ankle boots with the zip, and the blue sweater with the white boat, and - I knew this because I had dressed him - his train-infested underpants, and the red T-shirt he liked to imagine was a Spiderman shirt, and Old Navy green socks with rubbery lettering on the soles. We gardened together. I demonstrated how to use a shovel. When I dug up the topsoil, I was taken aback: countless squirming creatures ate and moved and multiplied underfoot. The very ground we stood on was revealed as a kind of ocean, crowded and immeasurable and without light."
- Joseph O'Neill, Netherland