The brightly coloured jungle mural spreads extravagantly across three walls, with acid green palm trees, exotic animals and a garish yellow sun watching the room. An elephant stands guard over the Moses basket, which holds a knitted pale blue blanket. A mischievous monkey leaps over soft, glass-eyed teddy bears in the cot while a lion prowls behind a gilt-edged frame, immortalising delicate hand- and footprints. Small playsuits are neatly stacked in front of a giraffe.

The gaudily decorated curtains are closed against the daylight, rendering the print of a smiling man and woman cuddling a tightly wrapped bundle almost invisible. The comforting scent of baby powder is nearly hidden beneath the stale air.

The door glides open and dust particles dance in the disturbed atmosphere. The soundless mobile swings gently. For a moment it seems the jungle animals will have company…but then the door is softly closed and muffled footsteps retreat. The teasing monkey looks on mockingly as the kangaroo’s outstretched arms remain empty.

A tiny sock is forever lost behind the bureau.

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