• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 05
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My name is Claude, and I am some kind of bird. The other ones started to peck me when we were all together in the pen, so I have been kept apart. It is my hair they disapprove of. But this is a blessing, as I am taken for walks, most often held by my owner (or he may be a god, in fact).

People point and smile as we go by. I have become an ice-breaker. And he has even got a date on the strength of our novelty. It didn't work out, but that is because Brian, my owner, is very sensitive — to everything. And he cannot bear to be criticised. He did not take me on the date, but when he got home, at after eleven, he said she had said something insulting about his shirt. This all goes back to his childhood, you see, and how his father criticised him growing up — never giving him a kind word, or rarely — the perfect martinet.

On occasion, I begin to feel like Brian's partner — he tells me everything, even things I would put under the heading of TMI. Things about sex, and fantasies about it, stuff I have no business knowing.

It is sad, for I have no such desires of my own. Sometimes I look in the mirror and wish he would shave this yellow hair from my head, and make me like all the others. But no, I could not go back now, I could not be one of them even if I tried. My time with Brian has changed me, and I belong, for better or worse, with him.

I am Claude.