Maisie was 5 years old, and her kindergarten class had taken a field trip to the zoo.

She loved lynxs. She had a picture book about them, and articles cut out from nature magazines her mother bought.

Maisie held her teacher’s hand as they stood in front of the lynx enclosure, the big cat hidden in his concrete den.

It was late August, sweltering and humid, and the animal kept to the cooler dark.

Maisie leaned against her teacher’s leg, trying to see into the dark, to catch a glimpse of something wild.

A few minutes and the class moved on, the children growing restless and bored, and they went to the reptile house.

Sitting in the patch of woods now as an adult, seeing the world slip away, all that wildness taken, she know knew what that moment meant.

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