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The door into the crawlspace leads under the porch, right onto the old house’s granite foundation. Pleasance decides to grow a tree there. She’d like having a tree inside the house.

She puts pieces of pinecone in one of the cracks she finds, and some mulberries in another. As an experiment, she puts a wedge-shapen wooden toy block in a third.

Pleasance is a conscientious six-year-old, and usually remembers to water them. The pinecone and the mulberries fail to thrive, but one day, the part of the foundation where the soaked and swollen toy is wedged groans. Then shudders.

And splits.