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Our House
by SH


“I thought I shared my house just with my wife, daughters and cat. But the longer I spend here in isolation from other humans, the more I realise we are a tiny minority of this house’s inmates. The most obvious are the birds who coo down the chimney. A young, curious pigeon recently fell down said chimney and stared at us until we opened the window. Another visitor to our bedroom, which has hosted drone-sized bumble bees, suit-eating moths and biting ladybirds, has been a bat silently swooping, Dracula-like, from wall to wall.

A glance out of the window reveals other residents. The fox lopes around like a spy, planning bin raids and subterfuge. More watchful are the squirrels which, when not tight rope walking in the trees, are industriously digging holes for their future snacks. Closer to the ground, hungry caterpillars chomp their way through the garden centre’s finest. Ants get on with their sophisticated societies. Worms lugubriously tunnel beneath the earth. Overhead, flies gather in mists of life and streams of single Messerschmitt fighters. Bully-boy wasps in orange and black ply their trade, their chilling buzz threatening all about.

Everywhere there are fights for territory, mates and food - constant chatter, constant activity, constant life. I now know it’s not my house. It’s our house. The other residents will still be here long after our crisis has passed.”

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