Khan Younis, Gaza
Beginnings are hard, he scrawled in the sand of his cage. Never give up, his mother said. Sometimes he saw the keeper stuffing dead birds. Once, it was a monkey or pelican. Sometimes, he found it hard to breathe, with all that sawdust. He had a cross breeze through the bars, the call to prayer, a bowl of water, an enviable BMI. With good grades plus some bureaucratic luck, he had immigration. Sometimes when he woke, a white deer with fresh black stripes appeared. The children had wanted a zebra; it made them feel they were in a real zoo.