You have had your supper
‘The birds will have gone to roost,’ Lionel said.
From the pocket of his overcoat, Tulenkov took the bag into which, on their way out, he had put cakes from the stand.
‘They will wake up for supper,’ he said.
He whistled through his teeth, a series of short trills vaguely resembling bird song. A blackbird flew down from the firs, followed by another and then by a thrush. Others came – robins, finches, a magpie with its underwings flashing blue and white. Tulenkov crumbled the cakes and tossed the crumbs to the birds. He gave some of the cakes to Victoria and Lionel to do the same, but the birds continued to surround him, paying little attention to what the others offered. He stood still, and they alighted on his hands. Their constant fluttering movement marked the intensity of his stillness.
With a sudden expansive gesture he tossed away the last of the crumbs.
‘There,’ he said, ‘you have had your supper. Go now to your perches.’