Rite of Passage

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By Moshe Kessler

The group of boys scrambled up the hill. None of them could have been more than ten years old. As they crossed over a section of shale, pebbles broke off and tumbled loudly below. They reached a small clearing surrounded by shrubs and trees. The oldest boy stopped before a large bush; and stooping, pulled out a battered coffee can. As the other boys gathered round, he drew out a pack of cigarettes and passed them out. As they lit up and curls of blue grey smoke rose, they suddenly felt much older.

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