Fred waited for the doctor and as the cold crept from the metal emergency room examining table through his pant legs to his thighs he went through his well-rehearsed spiel: he was not some crazy animal rights activist, he was not interested in taming these wild creatures or in running off into the wilderness, he was a vegetarian and was studying the migratory habits of the black-capped chickadee and the white-breasted nuthatch. He did not know if the doctor would be convinced: he seemed nuts and the white-breasted nuthatch seemed the dead giveaway. The raccoon bite throbbed and he regarded it with a detached sympathy. He was used to feeling empathy for the baby robins that hopped unsteadily at the edge of the tree branches, and for the crows that lay, shocked and silenced, on the side of the road, wings outspread even after impact, as if dreaming about the next flight–

The doctor, a young woman with blond hair pulled back in a ponytail not dissimilar to the cedar waxwing’s tail feathers, peeked her head around the examining room curtain. “Knock, knock,” she said brightly, and he tried to look normal and unaffected by the rabies.

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1 Comment

  1. Anna

     /  May 6, 2012

    I LOVE this one.


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