The dog ate the turkey. Then killed all the village swans, piled the white corpses at the front door, impossible to hide, a pyre to be paid for with exile. In the orange school bus, every morning and afternoon, no matter the snow or dust, we'd lower the windows and hang out from the waist, yelling across the rutabaga fields and hail our dog chained to a tractor tire. We conspired to pedal under star-cover with chain-cutters and hairpins to pick locks and unleash dreams. We planned escape routes down beaver creeks, flow-following to a great lake mouth, over the falls, to sea salt. We'd be Vikings, Conquistadors, Voyagers, Braves; the first to find the strait. We'd live off seal pelt and whale blubber and albatross breast. We'd suck octopus tentacles to keep scurvy at bay. We'd breed a whole continent of dogs, horse islands, cat jungles, pig mountains. In winter, we'd burn the news for warmth, asking for nothing, saying nothing to adults, which we'd never become, a fate equivalent to death. Our arms would turn legs. Our snouts would grow long. Fingers to paw. Our ears would hear everything.