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  • Deep into a dream-riddled night ripped the yodel of our ancient cat. I sat upright in bed, heart pounding, limbs tense, sniffed the air for smoke, listened hard for children, looked at my still sleeping husband, but only the cat-keening outside, below, close by, disturbed the quiet. I slipped to the window, heartbeat wild, to peer down into the spring garden. There he was--his black coat patchy in the chalky moonlight, his body swelled to enormous size in the middle of a raised bed--staring at a slim, silent coyote three feet away.

    I watched. Transfixed by their staring, yellow eye to green, canine to feline, wild to tame, I sensed a distance being crossed.

    I yanked open the window and let out a low, rough scream. Spell broken, cat and coyote each threw me one quick look, then vanished, beyond the moon’s reach, one trotting to the right, one slinking to the left.

    All was still and silent but for the pulsing of my heart as I turned from streaks of moonlight and shadow, back to the dreaming house.
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