Zeke, the New Friend

My 12-year-old returns from the southwest with the story of a bobcat who slept in the raingutter in her grandparents’ roof. She’s worried about the wild cat, who she thinks is too thin, unlike her own glossy, well-fed kittens.

The cat is my daughter’s main story of her faraway trip — this wild beast who seems remarkably tame and drinks from her grandmother’s bird bath.

Driving home in the dark, I’m listening to my two daughters’ disparate conversations about enchiladas and pueblo ruins and a stranger’s delayed flight. My daughter in the backseat keeps mentioning Zeke.

Who’s Zeke? I ask.

She answers, We named the bobcat Zeke.

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By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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