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Watermelon Heart

    The very center of a watermelon, like most living beings, is called the heart. It seems to have a concentration of sweetness there like nowhere else. My grandfather grew watermelons and sold them. He would pick them from the field, bring them to the house and stack them up by the road in piles so high I could not, at my tender age of seven or eight, begin to see over it. The melons were there for the families use and want.

    Eventually, a truck would come by and load them up to take to market. But while they were in that stack, they were somewhat fair game, as long as they weren't wasted.

    Occasionally, my grandfather would take a few of the lesser ripe melons over to the fence and feed his pigs with them. He would toss the melon up into the air so that when it landed, the weight of it would cause it to burst open, thereby making it accessible to the animals to eat.

    Soon after the launching of the first melon, the pigs would become astutely aware of the presence of food and would begin a quick four-legged, cloven-hoof trot in that direction.

    I recall one time when my cousins and I were witnessing this event when the very first melon selected turned out to have a beautifully scarlet red "heart" with traces of white sugar veins surrounding it. One of my cousins, Stevie Beach, could not resist the temptation. Over the fence he went, racing to reach the melon before the pigs arrived, to recapture the heart himself. It was the fastest I have ever seen Stevie move.

(End of Chapter 6

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