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To dream of a coyote is strong medicine, so Roland sits up with miserable, sweaty little Daphne and prods his subconscious. He reads about mating habits and urban adaptation; he listens to an mp3 of call-and-response with yelping humans. He reads aloud, to Daphne, about how Coyote stole fire from the gods.

At last he dozes and starts awake, clutching the ragged scrap of image: a bushy tail disappearing behind a graffiti-scrawled tree. He leans close to his daughter and breathes the dream into her ear.

Daphne squirms and rolls over, gripping his shirt in one greedy fist.