Thursday, 25 June 2015


Their numbers had reached double figures once – just. Nine had fallen so that now but one remained, the last of its kind. Each apparent accident had increased my suspicion to the point where I was convinced some malign destructive force was at play. I took the sole survivor into my hand and admired its slender neck, its translucency, its smooth coolness in my palm. I went to hang it back on the wall, but something stopped me. Instead, I placed it on a shelf, far from the ledge. This green bottle was not going to fall, accidentally or otherwise.


It was early, the grass wet beneath her bare feet. Each damp stride took her further from the house where children slept at strange angles. A pale sun was beginning to extend its fingers through the hedge at the bottom of the garden. She placed a bowl on the ground, retreated a few yards, stood motionless barely breathing and waited. She saw its triangular ears first, orange and large as it emerged from the shadows.  It trotted towards the food and dipped its outsized young head into the bowl. It was the only cub left, a beauty. She smiled.