“He should be here soon,” Ernest’s inert body belied the excitement in his eyes.
“It might not be today,” Gertrude noted. She knew he had to hold on to hope, but she could not bear to see him wade across another disappointment.
There have been far too many of late. And more coming.
“Oh, it will,” Ernest insisted.
Gertrude nodded. When he got something firmly into his head, there was little use in trying to dissuade him. Nor much to gain from it, really.
She wheeled him to a sunny spot out of the wind, arranged the blanket over his lap, and brought herself a stool. The both of them could use fresh air as well as what vitamin D they’d manage making.
They sat. She dozed off.
His cry woke her. Joy. Not pain.
Merlin, he’d called him. The osprey rested twice-yearly, mid-migration, on their chimney stack.