In anticipation of signs of life, the animals crept closer, then closer still. From outside, the birds in the trees were singing, and the breeze from the wind carried their songs for miles around. All over town, you could hear them, and although most didn’t, those with an ear for delicate wonders smiled to themselves as nature serenaded them as they went about their day. On the floor of X’s bathroom, sunlight kissed the noses and beaks of those gathered. They were all drained from the events that had occurred, and yet they couldn’t rest, for they didn’t yet know if what they had set out to do had worked or not. Glancing at George for guidance, the rats rubbed themselves against the long, motionless legs sprawled before them while the magpies gently pecked at a hand that was resting with its palm facing the ceiling. The cats were sat either side of George, silently speaking among themselves as the squirrels climbed upon X and rubbed their tails over her skin as if to tickle her awake. Whatever their intention, as the rat with the newly acquired coat of white fur licked her fingers and one plucky squirrel wriggled his tail against her chin, X’s eyes suddenly flickered. Stepping forwards, George leaned in and meowed into her ear. He then nuzzled his nose against the locks of hair that had spilt over her face. Brushing them aside, sunlight warmed her features, and this time her whole body began to stir as if the heat had caused her to thaw. As the sound of a car horn cut through the air outside the window, there came a gasp that made them all jump, and just like that, her chest rose and deflated. Then came a cough, then silence, and then another small cough. When she finally opened both eyes, she focused them on George, and as the tears fell down her cheeks before dripping onto the cool linoleum, the animals knew they had done it.