Cover story

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The week has passed, looking neither to the left nor the right, and scurrying through in the hope that it would be finished before something awful happened.

On Tuesday a shaggy-plumaged robin hopped up onto the feeder. It cocked its head and looked at me as if to say ‘hello there, I haven’t seen––



Really? Anthropomorphising us again, are you?

Oh hello, robin. Yes, as a matter of fact I am. Do you have a problem with that?

‘Ooh look, there’s a sweet ickle birdie. Let’s pretend it’s human.’ You have to admit it’s a pretty lazy device.

People like it.

Some people like it.

Look, I’m quite busy, and I’ve got an important announcement to make, so if you could cut to the chase.

Oh yes, the ‘announcement’. Well, since you ask, some of us are a bit annoyed about your ‘announcement’.

Imagine my surprise.

It’s this book cover of yours.

Uh huh.

There’s a bird on it.

The book is about birds. Seemed a reasonable choice.

It’s a goldcrest.

Lovely bird, the goldcrest. Smallest bird in Europe, you know.

I know a few firecrests who would have something to say about that.

Ok then. Equal smallest.

Whatever. Overrated bird, I reckon. Just cos it’s titchy. Irritating song, doesn’t stop flitting about. You didn’t think of, you know, putting something else on there?

No I did not. And I particularly didn’t think of putting a robin, if that’s what you’re getting at. You should just be happy that you get a starring role in the book.

Oh yeah, that’s right. One brief anecdote in February, and then a short passage in June about how lovely our song is.

There are a lot of birds. I didn’t have room to be expansive.

David Lack wrote a whole bloody book about us.

In which case I’m sure you’ll agree that our ‘books all about robins’ quota is amply filled. Now if you don’t mind, I want to get on with the announcement.

Ah sod it. Never mind. Show them your stupid cover. Don’t mind me. I’ll just be bob-bob-bobbin’ along over here.

Grumpy sod. They’re right, you know. You are bloody aggressive.


Here’s my book cover. it doesn’t have a robin on it, and I for one am beyond excited about it. Don’t listen to the robins.

birds cover

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