Monday, 14 May 2012


As I sat at my computer this morning I heard from the front garden a never-before-known birdsong, a constrained and barely audible sparkle of chirps. I went to the window, and there I saw three male blackbirds, joined soon by a fourth, posturing to one another, each within two feet of the next, heads dipped, backs puffed, wings drooped, tails lowered and fanned, and one singing this strange faerie-land subsong.

My blackbird coven went on until a family of starlings, young and old, trundled through the magic circle, shattering its spell, and leaving the blackbirds wondering, it seemed to me, what thing had happened here.

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