I crossed the ravine, slipping a little on the scree as I climbed up the other side. Open country stretched out around me, with not a sign of civilisation. A pang of aloneness hit me; I felt small in the landscape.

A shape rose up in front of me. In an instant, a part of my brain kicked in. “Buzzard,” I said, almost out loud. The call, cat-like and mewling, reinforced my split-second identification.

The buzzard flew overhead, those broad mottled wings soaring in wide circles, with just the flicker of five feathers like fingers at each wingtip. I watched for a while in wonder, and then ...


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