Flora Goodwin picks at the hole in the tablecloth on her kitchen table. There must be something she can do. Outside, six pigeons, two starlings, one crow, two swallows and a parakeet line up on her fence; the usual suspects all facing Alice Seymour’s garden. It is an unspoken war, and Alice Seymour, having already stolen Flora’s man, is winning. Flora has no answer to her neighbour’s expansive bird table and sophisticated feeding system, but while she is a writer with a deft touch for metaphor, watching the birds cover her side of the fence with poo feels particularly cruel.