I will take care of your garden, Mr. hiroshi," I offered. He smiled. "That would give me great comfort, Mary," he said. "The koi are greedy, you know. Do not let them get fat." We watched the bus drive away. For Mary, too young to fully understand about war and far-off places, the promise was meant to last only until Mr. Hiroshi came back. But after a while it was clear the her friend wouldn't be coming home. Still, Mary faithfully kept her word all through that long summer. And when the new people came to live in Mr. Hiroshi's house, she knew exactly what to do. Once more, Maxine Trottier takes a small piece of a larger story, nurtures it with care, and grows a tale as elegant as a Japanese Garden. Flags is a simple story of innocence and friendship set against a backdrop of fear and suspicion. A story that must be told and told again—but never allowed to recur.