Abigail poured herself another glass of orange juice. ‘It’s very noisy in the garden.’ She clambered down from the fridge and Preston backed away, his eyes fixed on the glass.
‘Don’t spill it again, it took me ages to get the stains out of my scarf yesterday.’
Abigail sniffed, ‘it wasn’t my fault, I didn’t know you were walking past.’ Padding to the garden door she opened it wide. ‘There’s an awful lot of tweeting going on.’
‘The birds are starting to build their nests,’ said Patrick, looking up from his book. ‘It’s spring.’
‘And where do they build them?’ asked Abigail in interest.
‘In the trees,’ said Patrick, ‘we’ll have a few in the garden.’
Abigail looked up at the trees, she wondered what a nest looked like and if it was comfortable. Putting down her glass she walked down the path toward the hedge. Patrick appeared beside her and pointed up. ‘There, see, there’s one building a nest in the tree here by the window.’ There was a ringing noise in the kitchen. ‘Door, must be the post.’ Scampering back inside, he disappeared.
Abigail looked up into the tree, all she could see were a few sticks, surely that couldn’t be a nest, it didn’t look like somewhere a bird could live but she couldn’t quite see from here. Glancing over her shoulder she edged towards the tree and began to climb.
‘Where’s Abigail?’ asked Preston.
‘In the garden,’ said Patrick, opening his letters.
Preston looked out of the door. ‘I can’t see her, are you sure?’ He clambered down over the step. ‘Abigail?’ The tree at the side of the garden shook and a furry face appeared.
‘What are you doing up there!’ Preston shook his head, ‘it’s very dangerous, get down again!’
‘I was looking for the nest but all I found were some twigs.’ Balancing on a branch Abigail held the twigs up in her paw and a cascade of them trickled down onto the grass.
Preston put his paws to his mouth. ‘That was a nest. That’s how they make them!’
Looking at the twigs in her paws Abigail swallowed hard, perhaps she could put it back together. ‘It didn’t look very comfy,’ she said, ‘I didn’t know that’s what nests were made of.’ Turning round she tried to push the sticks back together but it wasn’t working. The more she pushed the more fell through the leaves and onto the floor. Patrick had appeared beside Preston and she looked down at them. ‘I.. I think I might have broken it,’ she said hesitantly, ‘I didn’t mean to…’
‘Just come down,’ said Patrick, ‘there’s nothing you can do now, they’ll have to build another one.’
Unhappily, Abigail climbed down. Leaning back she looked up into the tree, all she could see were a few broken sticks.
Stirring her soup around and around Abigail blinked. Her ears drooped and she sighed.
‘Aren’t you hungry?’ asked Preston, scraping his spoon noisily against the bottom of the bowl, ‘this soup is delicious.’
Abigail pushed her bowl towards him.
‘Well if you insist,’ said Preston
Patrick patted her paw. ‘‘You didn’t do it on purpose. You didn’t know that’s how nests were built. I’m sure they’ll have to time to build another one. A much better one.’
Abigail nodded, a much better nest. She paused thoughtfully….
‘Is Abigail out in the garden again?’ asked Preston, ‘she’s been out there most of the day.’ He opened the cupboard door. ‘What shall we have for dinner?’ He picked up a tin. ‘Sardines?’
‘Lovely,’ said Patrick, ‘let’s put them in some pasta.’ He glanced out of the window. ‘I think she’s still very sad about breaking that birds nest.’ He paused. ‘Ah.. what’s that up in the tree?’
Preston climbed up onto the table. ‘Where? I think… I think it’s one of our cushions. What on earth is it doing up there?’
Abigail stepped back to admire her handiwork. It was definitely a much better nest! She’d wedged the cushion into the branches of the tree and put a few twigs around the edge to make them feel at home. In the middle was a piece of her soft blue blanket, she’d cut it up into pieces. In case they were hungry she’d opened her favourite cake and had sprinkled it all around the tree. She’d even made a little cover for the nest. She hoped they liked it, it had taken her ages to build.
‘Abigail,’ said Polar, ‘is that my umbrella over the cushion? And… is that your blanket?’
Abigail nodded happily. ‘I wanted them to have a much better nest.’
‘There are a lot of open tins out here,’ said Preston, peering under the tree. ‘And look, there’s one of our bowls.
‘Three of them actually,’ said Abigail, ‘water, orange juice and some milk. I didn’t know what they liked, but I didn’t want them to be hungry.’
‘Well… It’s a lovely nest,’ said Patrick, ‘you’ve built it very well. But…I’m not sure if um…’ There was a loud tweet from above them, then another. ‘Oh there’s a bird in it already,’ he said, scratching his head. ‘Well I never.’
‘Most of our house is in that tree.’ muttered Preston. ‘Come on let’s go in and have some dinner whilst we’ve got a plate left.’ As they climbed over the step into the kitchen he closed the door. ‘Doors sticking,’ he looked down, ‘what’s this lead going out towards the tree?’
‘Electric heater,’ said Abigail, picking up a piece of cake.
‘Oh of course…’ said Preston with a sigh. ‘Silly me…’