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The man on the lawn had been wishing again. This time he had wished for important things: a good pillow, peace in Connecticut, five or six crisp one hundred dollar bills, daffodils in spring. Mrs. Crown hadn't wanted to listen. "That man is a slowly diminishing pang," she said to Mr. Crown. "In fact, he's all pang. Why doesn't he get off the lawn and do something?"
     "He's an educated man," said Mr. Crown.
     "There have been too many educated men. And without even trying," said Mrs. Crown and went into the kitchen.

At the table, the son was bending over a cousin's letters. This cousin had died the year before after giving a speech at the bicycle club. He had been nineteen. Now his letters were spread all over the table. Some of them smelled like ink and some of them smelled like marigolds.
     "I don't know why you bother with those things," said Mrs. Crown.
     "One day," said the son, "I'm going to be something."
     "There is no country where every patch of wood gives up an incense of song," said Mrs. Crown.
     "Leave the boy alone," said Mr. Crown.

All afternoon the man stayed on the lawn wishing. Then night came and he was still wishing. He had wished all summer but never for so many hours in a row. It's got to get worse before it can get better, thought Mrs. Crown. She stood on her porch and called out to him. He was now wishing for a new furnace, the protection of the salmon habitat, a fool's heart, and someone to take his place on a church committee.
     "Who are you?" said Mrs. Crown.
     The man lowered his eyes to the ground.
     "I think I know," said Mrs. Crown. "You whisper in the meat-packing plant. You breathe deeply and point toward herbal teas. You fix people's pillows. Listen, I've got a boy in there," she said and gestured to the house. "Your wishing is making him agitated."
     It was dark and Mrs. Crown did not see which direction he went.

Mrs. Crown stood perfectly. There was music on the radio in the kitchen. She had not slept in several days. The neighbor knocked on the door. He was wearing a running suit. His chin was stubbled, his bag was stuffed with what appeared to be presents. He was giving out the homemade gargoyles again.
     "To ward off the evil," he said to Mrs. Crown. "You look tired today. Here, pick your favorite."
     "There's still so much I don't want to know about you," said Mrs. Crown. She chose the first head in the bag, and the neighbor ducked out the door.