You take your animals everywhere: to bed, to school, to Namum’s house. They sit beside you on a chair
at dinner. When you nd yourself without them, you send up a plangent cry: “My a- mils!” No closet shelf
is good enough: like the Grimms’ amphibious prince, they must partake of your provision, share your sleep. A liberal
interpreter of “animal,” you don’t disqualify on grounds of either insentience or extinction—won’t
deny the pterodactyls place beside the ostriches, a ord the cars, the Duplo girl, a space
alongside mouse and moose in the reusable shopping bag you tote from home to school, an oddball ark that refuses
none. Many by many, there they go, up the gangplank, into the haven of your attachment where
your mother hopes her heart, stowed away amid the herd, will or rather won’t escape your notice.