The statue of the Dear Leader weren’t smiling or nothing, but he still came acrost as kind. Kind but powerful, too, and I guess that’s what I mean when I say he reminded me that Jesus play. And I remember thinking the Dear Leader looked exactly like Granny always said, like a shepherd or maybe a really nice father that just wanted to do what was best for his family, including me. And his eyes were only stone or whatever it is they make those big statues out of, but I coulda swore he was looking at me, and his arm was stretched out. Not high up like that green statue in New York we seen in our history book about all them immigrants, but more like this picture Miss Sandy has up of Jesus reaching out for Peter when Peter’s drowning on account of him forgetting he couldn’t walk on the water like the Son of God. And it looked like the Dear Leader was calling me, like he was saying, “Come to me.”
And he looked so fatherly and inviting that I left that place out of the wind, and I walked over and wouldn’t have been surprised if the statue actually said something to me ’cause I knowed his eyes had been telling me, “Come to me.” I sorta hoped he had more to say, maybe something helpful like where I could find another old lady who liked young boys and still had food to spare. He didn’t say no more, only it was comforting being there so close to him, even better than it woulda been having Ji-Hoon by me I figured.
So I curled up at the Dear Leader’s feet, not in the front part where people would notice me when they come to school but behind on a little platform I hadn’t ever seen before on account of us kids never being allowed to play around the statues of the Dear Leader or his dad neither. And I bet Pastor would say that’s dumb superstition ’cause they’re only stone or whatever you call that stuff they carve it from, and why in the world shouldn’t a kid play nearby? But then Miss Sandy goes and says I shouldn’t put my dirty dishes on top of the Bible on account of it being disrespectful, and I don’t see much difference, do you? Except one’s a book and one’s a statue that’s even taller than a man.
The "Twelve Days of Woong" series includes short snippets from my upcoming novel, Flower Swallow. Get your pre-publication copy NOW when you donate to Liberty in North Korea or read it free on Wattpad.