In a small open space by the barracks we dug a fishpond, and stocked it with some netted minnows to loiter about. We also planted a slender willow sapling to provide her with the chance to make up in front of a mirror.
Owing to so much attention, the latent life of the willow was awakened, and before long she grew up to provide a good deal of shade. Whether day or night, spring or summer, winter or fall, she always exuded a light mist, showing her leisure and confidence. From that point on, the willow became the center of one corner of the world. During the day, the guys imbibed the coolness beneath her and bathed in the gentle wind; and at night amidst her hair, they sought their lost dreams. But for the swaying willow with its thin branches, the most fascinating was still to fish in the mirror, to look at her appearance in the blue sky.