When he leaves for the monkey-house, his six-year old
daughter asks again if she can accompany him.
She's an intelligent girl; he encouraged her mother
to breastfeed (longer than most) and baby was sick
less than the neighbors' children. He tells his daughter
their English Setter may birth the litter of puppies
in her absence. "You don't want to abandon Charlie
on her big day," he says. His daughter doesn't respond.
At work, the infant rhesus with nothing to run to
(frightened by his hand-puppet monster) is rocking back
and forth in its container. It won't eat. The monkey
with the wire mother and its neighbor with the cloth
mother are behaving the same as previous weeks.
A youngish colleague suggests an electric mother,
mild graduated shock. When he returns home
the bitch has given life to a runt litter of five.
His wife tells him Charlie jumped out of her cardboard
nest after gnawing the umbilical, stepping
on a puppy's head-the one with a patch of black on
its jaw. She tells him their daughter decided that's
the one she's keeping.