The Dead Songbird*

“Oh, Seb, hello,” my Dad says, answering the house phone.  “Yes, here she is.  Tanya – it’s Seb,” Dad says, passing the phone to me.

“Hi darling,” I say.  “How is Friday?” 

“Well we did the bird-ringing today,” Seb says.

“Wow, how was it?” I say.

“It was good: we caught the little birds in nets and put rings on their legs,” Seb says.  “We learned how to age them and…”

“What birds were they?” I say, taking the phone up to the parental bedroom so can talk to my boy in private.

“My group had blue tits,” Seb says. “The other group had these little ones called ‘gold crested’ something…”

“Ah.  Goldcrests,” I say.  “So how do you age them?”

“Looking at the feathers mainly,” Seb says.  “Seeing if they’ve still got their fledgling ones or how new and bright the feathers look.  Oh: they were so sweet: when you’ve slipped the ring on, before you let them go, the bird just lies on your hand for a bit looking confused before they fly away.”

“Ahhhhh you’re so lucky,” I say.  

“So what have you been up to?” Seb says.

“Am just looking at train tickets for my visit to you next week,” I say.  “There’s one that arrives at 3.04pm and the next one gets in at 5.05pm so…”

“Either of those is fine,” Seb says.  “Let me know when you’ve booked it.”

“OK darling,” I say.  “Am so looking forward to seeing you.  Am excited about it.  Had better help Mum make some supper.  Have  a nice evening.”

“You too, my lovely,” Seb says.

Attached photo is an acer who lives near the parentals.

Happy Friday everyone!
*2013.  By Harriet Smart.  Book 2 in the Northminster mystery detective novel series.  

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