In the dark, dismal depths of a West Highland January, Algy perched on the dripping branch of a young ash tree. The dense Scotch mist had not budged for three days, even though the wind was blowing vigorously, driving the tiny droplets of water into Algy’s eyes and deep among his feathers. It was only just around midday, but it looked like dusk, and the small part of the world that was visible at all looked dim and blurry in the low light. Tucking his wings more closely around him, Algy dozed limply in the damp, dreaming hopefully of sunnier climes where the world was full of colour and light and warmth…

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