As the remaining light faded from the noon sky, he watched a polar bear lop across one of the mountain ridges, heading toward the sea to hunt. Augie wished he could climb into its thick skin and sew it shut behind him. He imagined what it would feel like: looking down a long snout at paws the size of serving platters, rolling onto his back and feeling a thousand pounds of muscle and fat and fur press into the frozen ground. Pulling a ringed seal from its breathing hole and killing it with one powerful swipe, burying his teeth in its flesh, ripping away steaming chunks of blubber and then falling asleep in a clean, white snowdrift: sated. No thoughts - just instincts. Just hunger and sleepiness. And desire, if it was the right time of year, but never love, never guilt, never hope. An animal built for survival, not reflection. The idea almost made him smile, but Augustine was not in the habit of bending his mouth in that direction.