from “Stone Animals” by Kelly Link

Henry dreams he is the king of the real estate agents. He tries to sell a house to a young couple with twitchy noses and big dark eyes. The couple stare at him nervously. He leans toward them as if he’s going to whisper something in their silly, expectant ears. It’s a secret he didn’t even know that he knew. ‘Let’s stop fooling,’ he says. ‘You can’t afford to buy this house. You don’t have any money. You’re rabbits.’

Published by Houghton Mifflin in The Best American Short Stories 2005.

from the Chorus in Agamemnon

Over ten years ago our brother kings set sail,
Their ships bristling with spears,
Carrying vengeance north—
When two great birds, the birds of Zeus,
Eagles, one black, one marked with white,
Flew overhead, to the right—
The spear-hand side! Omen of victory!

But then they stooped, and chased
A hare pregnant with babies,
And tore her open.
The royal black, the royal white-marked eagle
Devoured the living unborn young
Within their mother.

My song is pitiful. May good follow all evil.

Gibson, Graeme, comp. The Bedside Book of Birds: An Avian Miscellany. Doubleday Canada: 2005. “Chorus from Agamemnon” by Aeschylus 155-157.