[I went for a walk with the dog. This is what I encountered]

Perhaps it was the wind that caught him unaware. After a week of damp south westerlies there was a sudden about turn. A sharp chill from the east that brought with it deceptively blue skies and a last hurrah of summer enthusiasm.

In the park, the kids were yelling and squealing, delighted at last that the damp had retreated. That they were finally able to scamper around unfettered by walls and ceilings. And if they shivered they did not care, for a cold day outside is always better that a rainy day spent indoors, noses squeezed against windowpanes.

Perhaps he sat on a branch and looked down at the playing children and, sensing their joy, spurred on by the unexpected blueness of the sky, decided to take a chance. To spread his wings (still downy) and see what happens.

Or maybe it was just the wind.

Turning as it did, so sharply, so early in the season, September having just begun, perhaps he had pointed himself west, into a wind that was no longer there, bracing himself against a force that was now behind him and pushing him downwards, as he fell and fell, those downy wings not quite ready for this moment.

So that when I arrive, I see him lying there, a crumpled heap on the pavement.

Thinking he is dead, I walk on, only to see him gasp. See his beak open, then stiffen, as if in a scream. He repeats this motion two, three, four times as I stand over him and watch, the small, singular drop of crimson blood the only indication of the violence that has occurred.

In the park the children play on while I watch him die.

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