I’m almost done preening when Tenielle swoops over dramatically and perches beside me. I can feel the bough bend and sway as she ruffles herself in a perversely uncomfortable way, making irritable clicking sounds in the back of her throat. It’s with the self assured certainty of the wilfully ignorant that she chirrups bluntly into my silence. ‘If you ask me, there’s a reason for all those blackbird stereotypes.’ I bury my beak into the underside of my wing, imagining how very occupied I must look, knowing you couldn’t drown an ant in the depths of that girl’s mind.

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