Midnight Dance

I am lying awake when I hear my ferret squeak, as if from a nightmare.

I get up and walk over to her cage. It’s taller and wider than I am.

She is in her hammock, still whimpering softly. I gingerly lift her out.

She weighs barely a pound and smells faintly of corn chips.

I place her into the open flap of my fluffy, pink robe.

She wakes up, trembling slightly. All ferrets do that when they wake.

I rock back and forth, holding her to me.

Since the first day I brought her home, she has always liked to be rocked.

Eventually I hear her sigh and feel her rest against my chest.

When she was younger, she would have wanted to play, despite the hour.

She would have been slinking up the arm of my robe, or clambering up my shoulder.

Now she just breathes.

I wonder if this will be our last midnight dance.

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