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My neighbour’s apple tree is beginning to bloom again; a clutch of spring’s pretty, delicate pink and white paper flowers burgeoning slowly and miraculously upon its branches.

One morning I crept downstairs before the household awoke.  Scribble scribble/ tap tap/ cup of tea/ watch the blackbirds hop hop hop on the almost-frost green lawn outside.

(Why are the unpleasant smells of domesticity so heightened after the house’s night’s rest?  Rubbish bin/ something turning in the fruit bowl/ last night’s meal.  I’m the Early Riser. It doesn’t seem fair.)

Next door’s lawn was littered with trim little square white sheets of bread, in artful throw.  Fat pigeons were holding forth over this quarry, while brave little sparrows pecked at the pieces on the edge.  (This time, the tree is bare of fruit.)

I felt incongruity, thusly:

1. If kids are going to school without breakfast, why are we putting out (perfectly edible) ‘bread for the birds’?

2. If bread is likely NOT the wholesome grain-based foodstuff we once may have believed it to be, is it really any good for the birds?

3. Are all birds ‘good’ predators; should we be assisting their survival so indiscriminately?  (Aren’t pigeons, for example, called ‘the rats of the sky’?)

Atop my tangelo tree where we can’t reach without a ladder, two little finches shared pecking duty at winter’s fruit.

My toddler calls out, wondering why I’m not at my usual post, stretched out in the bed as she shuffles in, sleeping bag bound- happy tousled head and outstretched hand clutching the book she wants read to her.

So I leave the birds quite happily, and these wonderings stay where they are…

Related blog post: Books and Covers

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