Nobody knew who had brought the news to the town. What was certain is the fact that early one morning an old woman sat on the wobbly benches in front of her house and chatted about someone very important who was due to visit the town. A few of them had been knitting thick woollen socks, although it was the height of summer. However, they knew that once the summer was finished/over, the cold winter days would dominate for months, compelling them to use all kinds of clothing to protect themselves from its harshness.
Although, it was early morning it was hot and people could expect another scorching day. The rains had not fallen for weeks and the ground was dusty and thirsty. There were deep cracks in the soil in which hens pecked and scratched in the hope of finding a lost worm. Two stray dogs lay under the oak tree with their tongues hanging. At times/now and again they would snap at the flies which would not leave them in peace. Their dark eyes were fixed on a group of children playing in the dust. Sooner or later, some of them would get hungry and demand a slice of bread with/and jam from their mothers. It was also their chance to get some food.
The sound of crickets chirping and birds twittering in the bushes filled the hot air. Someone tried playing an acoustic guitar, a few tones/notes made a brave entrance in the stifling atmosphere and then stopped.
"It was more than thirty years ago when our President visited our town," said the first old woman. She almost/hardly had any teeth left in her mouth and her face was so wrinkled that had she asked any plastic surgeon for the help, he would have helped her without making any charge. She puffed thoughtfully at her cigarette.
"I remember that day as if it were yesterday said the second old woman, skilfully using/working her knitting needles. "We were ordered to gather in the centre and they told us HE was due to come/arrive in about two weeks. They told us that the whole town must be cleaned and washed and thoroughly prepared. All fronts/facades of the buildings should be painted anew, fences repaired, holes in the asphalt plugged, trees pruned according to the books, hedges trimmed and the grass mown. They planted flowers along the way and decorated the streets with flags and banners. We were told that all animals should/were to be kept inside. We could not risk our President getting angry because of a hen pecking at the ground or a dog barking.
Finally, the whole town gathered on the both sides of the streets. We all waved flags and white handkerchiefs. It/there was an atmosphere of a great expectation in the crowd. It was the first time in our history that such an important person had decided to visit our godforsaken place. Finally, the papers were going to write about us, we would become part of the civilisation.
We had been waiting for some hours under the scorching sun, hungry and thirsty. An old man collapsed and was immediately taken away by ambulance. Despite all the waiting nobody complained. One does not get the chance to see the President every day. Finally we heard the noise in the distance and the people fell silent in eager anticipation, stretching their necks to see a glimpse of the first vehicles."
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