Sssshhh, said Jackie, sssshhh, listen.
Pete stopped still. Silence.
How brown the woods looked: the conifers dulled in the late afternoon light, the ground muddy after the rain.
Jackie was pointing, his face contorted into an expression – half delight, half anguish.
Pete shook his head and whispered: What?
Silence. Then a tiny sound.
Tiu tiu tiu tiu tiu tiu.
See, a willow tit, said Jackie, pointing again towards the trees.
Pete scanned the many branches but saw nothing. Silence. He shrugged:
Are they meant to be special?
You won’t miss them until they’re gone, said Jackie.