Part of the 2021 shorts season, a politically-engaged series of limited edition titles.
Pre-orders now open, shipped to arrive on or before publication date: 6th August 2021
“Ruth Brandt’s exceptionally readable stories carry the reader into the light and dark heart of our shared hopes and fears. Always subtle, with a deft understatement and a pared-back style, these are stories that open up our understanding of how we are. They are quietly unforgettable.” - Jonathan Davidson, poet and memoirist
When American soldiers invade Iraq searching for weapons of mass destruction, Kesari the Bengal tiger and other wildlife are at the mercy of guns and keeper, Hassan. Entrenched in perpetual fear, Hassan must exercise Godly powers over his creatures in his attempts to save them - and himself.
A Village in Winter
“Mrs Gregory said to leave Frizz and his mum be for a while. Stop pestering. That poor woman with that lad.”In the chill of winter, the villagers play by the river, their play as harsh as the ice.
A scuffle diverted him, low voices muttering over by
the penguin enclosure. Hassan’s heart sang out. Other zoo
keepers were there. His colleagues had turned up to tend to
the animals too. He ran, flitting between hiding places, his
recently acquired ability to move discreetly in self-preservation
already ingrained in him. He passed the lion enclosure,
noting the cubs lying on their sides panting while their mother
pawed the ground as if searching for roots to feed them. On
past Kesari’s cage where he paused while the elegant giant cat
raised her head from the earth floor to growl. On he ran.
Two men, one with a canvas bag, stood by the miraculously
intact wall next to the pit that had once been filled
with water. Hassan steadied himself. These weren’t men he
knew. He faded into the darkness behind a tree.
“… better than that dog,” he overheard.