Gentle and Fierce is a new book of illustrated memoir essays by Vanessa Berry. 

Wildpark/ Marzipan Pig

The first time I came across marzipan pigs was in a Berlin department store, the Galeria Kaufhof. I was in the sweets section, looking over the Mozart chocolates, when a display of packets of marzipan pigs caught my attention. Reading 'Glücksschwein' on the labels, I realised they were symbols of luck. I bought one with the intention of taking it back home to Sydney with me as a souvenir. But as is so often the way with sweets bought as souvenirs, I ended up eating it in a moment of low ebb, a few weeks later, during the time in which I write about in 'Wildpark'.

This is a story about being away from home and familiar things, and looking for signs and connections. How sometimes you can find yourself somewhere completely unexpected and hitherto unknown, like a wildlife park on the outskirts of Leipzig. Here, you might come across an elk, walking slowly through its forest on the other side of the fence, and your mood might quite suddenly change.

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