William Lychack is the author of a novel, The Wasp Eater, and a forthcoming collection of stories, The Architect of Flowers. His work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, Life Magazine, and Ploughshares and on public radio’s This American Life. He is currently the writer-in-residence at Phillips Academy as well as a member of the faculty in Lesley University’s low-residency MFA program. 
Jul 22 2011
The evolution of a species was echoed in the evolution of an individual-they rhymed, he’d write, the development and diversification of a progress of an particular feature similar to the progress of an idea-and after tea and biscuits in the basement, after opening the morning’s mail, after tending to his climbing plants in the study, the old man laid the grey heron out on his work table and opened her lengthwise. In the tight crop of the bird he found small stones, bits of shell, of seaweed, a smooth blue fish. In the belly of the fish he found the silver grizzle of a smaller fish. And in that grey paste he found the hard pearl of a berry.