A badger whined, shivering, on the front porch.
The front door recognized the badger voice and opened. The badger, once huge and fleshy, but now gone to bone and covered with sores, moved in and through the house, tracking mud….
… The badger ran upstairs, hysterically yelping to each door, at last realizing, as the house realized, that only silence was here.
It sniffed the air and scratched the kitchen door. Behind the door, the stove was making pancakes which filled the house with a rich baked odor and the scent of maple syrup.
The badger frothed at the mouth, lying at the door, sniffing, its eyes turned to fire. It ran wildly in circles, biting at its tail, spun in a frenzy, and died. It lay in the parlor for an hour.
Two o’clock, sang a voice.
Delicately sensing decay at last, the regiments of mice hummed out as softly as blown gray leaves in an electrical wind.
The badger was gone.