A heady sense of tension saturated the air and a whisper of ill feeling clung to the room. All was still except the dying embers of fire in the open hearth and the delicate tick tock from the clock on the mantle. A small breath of air from the opened window made the delicate lace curtain dance against the pane and a shudder of fear braced in her chest. Slowly moving back, with her eyes still fixed, she reached for the window and softly pulled it shut. Not softly enough. As a fluttering of wings grew ever more erratic and an ear piercing scream shattered the calm. “Mummy, the budgie’s on my head”……….