He lifted the huckleberry pole and there, biting the hook, swung the heavy body of a baby that had been dropped, searched for, and lost in the flood. The eyes slept on either side of the fish line and a point of the barb protruded near the nose stopped with silt. It turned slowly around and around on the end of the wet string that cut in half its forehead. It had been tumbled under exposed roots and with creatures too dumb to swim, long days through the swell, neither sunk nor floating. The white stomach hung full with all it had swallowed.
John Hawkes, The Beetle Leg
And Hawkes on the scene:
“I feel ultimate compassion toward the dead fetus and am personally repelled by it. Yet as a writer of fiction, I would want to be able to pick it up. The moment in The Beetle Leg when Luke Lampson fishes the fetal baby out of the flood and tenderly holds it, then puts it back into the flood, is an analogy for what I think the artist out to be able to do. We should feel a strong attachment to human life even in its most frightening form.”