The Birdman’s Cottage

The window ledge had inch-thick dust that went up in clouds if you moved. Gracie cautiously climbed onto the ledge and peered through curiously though quickly withdrew her head from the overwhelming smell. She took great gulps of the fresh sea air and poked through again but this time she was ready. She pinched her nose and breathed through her mouth. She could see a rickety old stove that smelled of fish and dried seaweed. There was a fire burning merrily with a black cloak pegged up in front of it to dry and pretty shells and barnacles hanging off the walls. There was a woven willow basket with all kinds of berries Gracie had never seen before and some, which she had been warned against since the cradle.
    There was a large, unpleasant pile of fish skeletons and cuttlefish bones outside the door that Gracie wasn’t even going to look at because of the stench and an ancient-looking donkey in a small barn that was probably once owned by one of the families living on the island. The garden was extremely pretty actually. It had a lovely pebble path leading up to the house with cornflowers, bluebells, seedum, irises and all kinds of different plants that danced in the wind. It seemed that the Birdman was a bit of a gardener!
    Gracie turned around and saw the sparkling sea laid out before her. She could see the pool where she and Daniel had been sailing their boats and all the swans at Popplestone bay! Over the horizon she could see the tip of Tresco with tiny toy people playing on the sand. It was beautiful.
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