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Type of Work5 pages
Citation of Original PublicationDelury , J. (2008, April). Refuge. Urbanite, 63-105.
Standing in Molly and Riordan’s bathtub, waiting for Lucas to leave, Tess thought of the Delmarva squirrel that she had found one after noon, suspended by its paws from a lower branch of a loblolly pine. She was 10 or 11 years old, on her way to catch the school bus and had, as usual, cut through the patch of woods behind her house. She knelt in the dead needles and watched the muscles strain in the squirrel’s shoulders— she had never thought of squirrels as having shoulders before. To hang from a branch like this was not usual squirrel behavior, and when an animal acted strangely, Tess, like all of the island children, knew not to approach. Later, coming home from school, she hoped to see the squirrel still hanging on, but instead she found it stiff on its back, its paws clutched around the absent branch.