Wren Gradey

looking for the secret

Spiral Dawning

for her own chance to live?

Panic rose in me like a flood.
I jumped at the first thought that raced through my mind. Water. Get some water.
Sprinting back to the stone circle, tearing clothes and skin on bushes, I grabbed for the water we'd brought. I ran gripping the bottle with all my speed.
The lamb didn't move during the few seconds I was gone, but my rapid approach inspired another agonizing attempt at escape. This time it almost managed to stand before collapsing. I reached out, and ever so gently, untucked its leg from beneath the body that had crushed it. The head bobbed slowly around, as if trying to perceive I was, by some amazing chance, its mother, come to save it and restore it to health.
I yanked off my sweater and tried to tuck it around the weak animal. Carefully, I dripped water onto its head, aiming for its mouth. That only seemed to frighten it, so I dipped my fingers in the water and held them near its lips.
It couldn't move much now, but the head still bobbed, searching, trying to find the air where it hoped its mother, and safety, would be. Then it tried to bleat. First a sharp intake of breath that wheezed audibly through clogged lungs, then a pleading wail as it announced its departure to the world.
It cried that terrible sound, which rasped through its swollen throat, in utter confusion. I heard questions as though they'd been asked.
Why can't I stand? What's wrong with my eyes? Why am I so cold?
After what must have been less than a minute, it lay its head down and died.
I still hovered over the empty body, ready to spring into any action or effort that might save the lamb. I stayed in that position, unable to let go of what had become an extremely vivid moment where nothing mattered except the little creature's struggle.
But it was dead.