“Studying the creature’s unnatural position, my wonder turned to pity, for death had left him in a state of indignity. Heedless of the bramble spines that scored my forearms, I reached into the thicket to dislodge him, an effort frustrated by the clumsiness of my childish fingers. I carried him away and deposited him on solid ground at last beneath a rosebush, where his tiny stink bothered no one as he returned to the soil.
“I wondered if mice went to Hades, and imagined their tiny shades scrabbling about among the tall ones of famous men.
“Then I went into the kitchen and washed my hands of him like a good boy.”