It was spring, the oak leaf buds still sticky brown, tightly furled, the branches a clearly visible fan.
‘Easier to climb,’ muttered Shiv.
Min perched above him on the lowest branch, her feathered head cocked to one side, as if wondering why he didn’t just fly up as she had.
‘Alright,’ he called. ‘Don’t stare. This ain’t gonna be pretty.’
The first section was the worst, as he searched for footholds and handholds, found some too narrow, the perfect ones always too high. The ascent was slow, Min darting above, waiting, darting, Shiv feeling his way below her.
Finally he reached the platform of twigs and pulled himself up. Panting and grazed he slumped down on the edge of the nest.
No eggs lay there, only tiny shoes, hats, woollen gloves, a toy car. Moss and lichen furred some, others were clean. New.
Just as he had been warned.
I know it’s a bit of a stretch, but those are definitely eyes, right? And once you see that, you see the crest on its head, the lower curls that might just be wings.
By the way, Min is a mynah bird.