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I find myself remembering a few times when my mother decided that we were going to pick berries and I was given to understand that I was supposed to put them into the bucket instead of putting them into my mouth. And I'd go along with this, with the idea -- as was fairly common with the orders given me -- that I was being good and virtuous and that this delayed gratification was going to be some good stuff. So instead of nice sun-warm strawberries one by one, you had a bucket that was so close to empty, filling so slowly. And they were getting mushed. And finally you got home and were sat down at the kitchen table, all dark and indoors and gloomy, though it was at least a relief to be away from the mosquitoes and the deerflies and biting nasties of every sort. And set down was a cereal bowl with your strawberries in milk and sugar, which you would shovel dutifully into your mouth, feeling a bit heartbroken that you had ruined the wonderfulness of so many little strawberries and gotten only this in the end. Well, that's life and that's your gratification right there.

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