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Bestiary

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“I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief.”—Wendell Berry

 

The flat’s a natural history. Their city’s full of wildness: the brown bats, the geese necklaced in the park ponds, the wild dogs that occasionally ride the Tube. All the packs and flocks with their claws and their wings and their calls: I’m here where are you, John thinks. And Sherlock, as if he’s heard, comes out of the bedroom to sit in the chair with his feet pulled up.

“Can’t sleep,” he says.

He’s cut his hand on something, and he looks a little peaked.

“You should let me have a look at that.”

Sherlock shrugs, barefoot. He’s not a child; he’s a predator. He’s not a predator; he’s a child.

He asks so John tells him about the geese and the dogs and some werewolves too, rumored to be nipping at the heels of the owner of an excellent dim sum joint in Camden.

 “Yes, well,” Sherlock says, “Non-existent beasts are by definition elusive.”

“Yes, well,” says John, “We both know better.”  He’s typing.

There are a lot of wild things in London. We’ve just put some in a custody cell. Some are still out there. Some are in here.  

Sherlock leans in, reads, holds his hand out for inspection.

John has always viewed the world tenderly, a bit aslant –the geese and the dogs and the little brown bat.