The fictional story “Maternal Instinct” was inspired by a news story that occurred a few years ago when a boy fell in a gorilla pit at a zoo. I don’t know anything about the boy or his family or even remember which zoo, but I did hear someone (a psychologist, on a radio show, I think) say that people who hear these news stories make up narratives to fit their versions of what happened. I began thinking about this, and even more about the impact such an event would have on the boy’s life. My story takes place many years after the incident when the boy is recalling what happened to him and how it changed his life. As I was developing the story I was particularly delighted–well into the story–to find myself in the head of the gorilla; this was the most transformative moment of the story for me.