I’m surrounded by cattails. They jog the memory of the egret, tall and reed-thin. Something not quite reight about those spindly legs, the curved beak tucked to its breast, the eyes like beads of volcanic glass.
I turn slightly, and it’s there: tall, dark egret shape, the head cocked in study of me. I jolt, flashes of thought (egret – Mumbler – run) slamming through me, but my feet are rooted, and I nearly fall.
“Right here. In our new home,” he says in a voice that could be a hundred different things.
“Our new home,” I repeat, and I think the way I say it, it sounds like a wish.
Except for the first time, it really feels like it might be more than a wish. It might be our real life.