Herbert the Farmer – Autumn at Madera by Jacek Yerka, Yerkaland

Autumn at Madera by Jacek Yerka, Yerkaland

Perched on a heap of earth, the villagers live a peaceful life away from the noise and the agitation of the city nearby.

One day, Herbert the farmer, walking away from a market crowd, lost his way as he returned home. Annoyed with himself for getting distracted and wandering into the middle of a meadow surrounded by a wood, he caught sight of trees towering above even the tallest ones in the forest nearby. Curious and completely off track, he decided to walk towards the unusual landscape. His stride was fast and his steps were longer than the ones he was accustomed to taking. As he passed the first few trees, he paused, confused: a massive mound of earth appeared before him. Astonished yet intrigued, Herbert calmly inspected the surroundings, realising that the reason why the trees were taller than the others from outside the forest was because they were rooted on a hillock.

He circled the area, already making plans in his head. The constructions he anticipated wouldn’t take long to achieve. A stream could run underneath the hill to deliver fresh water, and cables could be connected from his home to provide electricity. He would need help to build his new house, but by confessing his plan he would betray the existence of this secret location. Perhaps he would only put his trust in a couple of people he actually liked and ask them to join him on the isolated hillock.

Today marks the first year the small village perched on the mound was inaugurated by Herbert himself as the mayor of the community. For the occasion, everyone arrived home early, parked their cars under the rusty sheet metal and prepared tea and biscuits to munch as they heard their mayor give his speech. Together, the four inhabitants of the heap smiled at each other, conscious of how lucky they were and promised with a wink to never share their precious secret.

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