The sea otter strokes its beard and flies in through 
the window to peruse the toiletries. "I like deodorant," offers 
Laurie, but the otter pays no attention. Laurie doesn't mind, 
her doors are open to all creatures, hers is a house built of love, 
love and that pale, pink stucco that draws the flamingos back 
each year. The penguins downstairs in the freezer feel naked 
without their iceberg. Laurie ties a loud Hawaiian cummerbund 
on a penguin she knows can pull it off, and it stands in front 
of the mirror as if held in a trance. Laurie is always mindful 
of the mirror and tiptoes past it so as not to disturb its reflection. 
She did, however, throw a shoe through the television set once. 
The seven years that followed were the happiest of her life.