Sweet Rocky…

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I almost stepped on him, frightened squeaks his only salvation. Fell from the tree, wobbling around, not a parent in sight.

Two days of regular feedings, researched recommendations followed, cuddles and compassion unlimited. Even the dog knew. A baby, hurt, he sniffed and sat in anxious curiosity.

Curled in a ball, variegated shades of brown resting against my sternum, warm and safe.

2am feeding. Greedily sucking Pedialite from a tiny syringe. Smacking lips, then nothing. Body still.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Rocky died…” Uncontrollable sobbing into fitful sleep.

Every. Time.

Knowing he passed safe and warm, the only consolation.


This blog post is part of Charli Mill’s Flash Fiction Challenge issued by Carrot Ranch CommunicationsAugust 5, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write the common premise: “I ran over a deer (or other animal) and have decided to nurse it back to health.”

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29 thoughts on “Sweet Rocky…

  1. So sad – beautifully written. Had a baby possum in the pool skimmer one morning, spent hours warming it up in a hastily put together incubator. I fed it peanut butter mixed with honey and later in the afternoon we set it free. It scampered up into the Sequoia. Hope he went back to his Mum and is doing well.

    1. Aww thank you. The next day we wrapped him up and buried him in a sweet little place in the forests near the river around our house. Cheesy, yes. But I wanted to give the poor little guy a “proper” send off.

  2. Ugh! You got me. 😦 Aw, the photo, this beautiful story… At least you tried. And I’ve had this experience. And, yes, my only consolation was that they didn’t die alone or cold or hungry or afraid. Beautifully written. ❤

    1. Thanks, Sarah! This prompt brought back some serious bittersweet memories. When that poor little guy passed, I crawled back into bed in the wee hours of the morning and bawled for what seemed like forever. I felt like such a failure!!! 😦

  3. That last line made me tear up and that’s why you’ll do it again. It’s a greater metaphor beyond rescue; that every life is valuable and even the vulnerable and dying need feeding, warmth and love. Beautiful flash.

  4. Karma. When we try to save something – I think we get more than just consolation… though we just never know when. Thanks for stopping by my post on the prompt.

    Hope we cross paths again 🙂

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