Deal 1259: Framed.

The cage hung from a hook in the corner of a perfectly appointed room. It was gilded, as one would expect from the level of taste and sophistication shown throughout the other furnishings; gilded and ornamented to the point that any songbird kept inside would die of shame. The rest of the room was a riot of silk brocades, tapestries, rugs, tables, and decor. The room did not even attempt to speak with a coherent voice. It had no story to tell beyond the obvious “my owner has no taste.”

The cage was empty, its door standing open, a single yellow feather the only memento of its occupant.

No cat was evident, other than from the feather.

Not that finding the cat in this room even if he was sitting in plain sight would be easy.

The room alone is not the whole story.

Or even the whole storey. Wandering the rest of the house, there is indeed a cat. He is not happy, as the bird’s owner is convinced the cat ate the bird. Cat claims innocence. but struggles to explain a second yellow feather found on his jaw.

Meanwhile, in the attic, a small yellow bird gloats.


Deal 1245: Quill

There is no pen like a quill pen. The feel of the freshly trimmed point as it moves across the page is not easily imitated. A quality fountain pen comes close, but has already begun to cross a line by being too easy to handle and needing too little maintenance.

No, I must stick to my guns and insist on nothing but a quill pen.

Typewriters are right out.

They steal all the romance from the written word, and replace it with legibility and speed.

You need not know the goose or swan that provides your quills personally, but it is good to collect them from a healthy bird. Freshly molted feathers are perfect, traditionally one of the three longest feathers from either wing.

Tempered, trimmed, split and cut to a point, you are invested in what you write with a quill.

That personal connection is key.

There is no pen like a quill pen.