The kids ran after me down Hapn’n Street to the bush. I dropped to the ground facing it, and howled. Juanita did the same. Only, squawking and flapping her wings, not howling.

Ramon looked from me to the bush. I inched toward it, and barked. Ramon bent down and lifted the lower branches.

Grace lay where I had left her. Flies had landed on her wounds. Her eyes were closed and I couldn’t see her chest move. For a moment, I thought she was gone.

Then she opened her eyes halfway and mewed.

Mimi shrieked and dropped to her knees. She started to cry, her hands waving, words pouring out of her. Ramon pulled off his shirt and gently scooped up Grace in it, wrapping it around her and cradling her in his arms.

–from “Saving Scrumpy”.