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Thoughts of Thirst

Uri Orlev
AGE: 9 up

“You know,” he said, “I am in love with this girl.”
I was taken aback. After all, we’d almost never talked before. He went on: “You know, she drinks lemonade with her eyes closed and thinks thoughts of thirst.”
I closed my eyes and thought to myself that I’d like to meet a girl like that. I’d ask her: ‘Are you thinking thoughts of thirst?’ Then we would both travel from opposite ends of the world to meet up in a certain place, and consumed by our longing, we would drink with our eyes shut.

The boy in this tale is like his friends but he is also different. Clear, flowing water stirs his imagination and he enjoys drinking it. Unlike his friends, he is able to think thoughts of thirst, and now he discovers that he is not the only one to think such thoughts. But what are thoughts of thirst, what does water symbolize? And how is all this connected to love? This subtle and poetic story was written in 1952 when Uri Orlev was 21 and living in a kibbutz. It was included in an anthology of his stories that came out in 1968. Now for the first time, it has been published as a book, and although 60 years have passed since it was written, it has retained all its freshness and charm.

Illustrations: Inbal Leitner

English translation available (for publishers only)

Title Thoughts of Thirst
Author’s Last Name Orlev
Author's First Name Uri
Language(s) Hebrew, Japanese, Korean
Genre picture bk for all ages
Publisher (Hebrew) Daga
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1968 [in: The Last Summer Vacation]
Publisher 2 (Hebrew) Zeltner
Year of Publication 2 (Hebrew) 2013
No. Pages 40 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Machshevot Tzimaʹon
Representation Represented by ITHL


Japanese: Tokyo, Komine Shoten, 2000 [included in: Wings Turn and Other Stories. See below]; Tokyo, Mitsumura Tosho [in: Ginga: Text Book for Elementary School Students and Guide Book for Teacher], 2011

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