10 July 2019

I returned home to find a dead swallow fledgling on the patio. It must have flown into the dining room window. No incredible migration to South Africa for this poor thing. Gone, and never saw a lion.

I scooped its stiff body into the coal shovel, its head flopping to one side, neck broken. Such an incredible beak—so wide! An adaptation for funnelling up insects, of course.

I walked over to the garden wall and flung the almost weightless corpse into the field: the poor creature’s brief, final flight.

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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