In the novel about the halted, ruined city that represents evil solidified, the curious boy is meant to awaken the queen who represents the inversed Madonna. Instead, he picks plums from the one tree that still blossoms. The sweetness of the fruit suffuses his senses. Their syrup makes his lips and cheeks sticky. Instead of ringing the crystal bell that will awaken the cruel queen, he finds a kazoo someone left in the hall of dead kings. The boy’s index finger bobs up and down while the kazoo thrums with his warm breath. His choice allows us to emerge from the alcoves where we’d stood frozen for millennium in a game of tag. It lets our friends to surface from the frozen pond where they’d played Marco Polo for more than a million years. O magic piper, how much better a playground of endless spring filled with playmates than a winter world where Christmas never came ruled by a sad, twisted queen. Look, the clouds move again across the sky. And the sunrise renews.