Robin gazed through a melted corner of the frosted glass, confused by the shimmering, twinkling white lights on the tree that had sprouted overnight within the house.
He ruffled his feathers, trying to trap a little of the warmth within his downy feathers. His tiny heart thrummed a rapid beat under his orangey-red waistcoat, a beacon of warmth on that dowdy grey winter’s day.
He cocked his head to one side, his beady black eye watching a tabby cat slink across the floor inside the house. The cat pounced onto the sill, licking his lips with a prickly pink tongue, before yawning, exposing a gaping maw filled with gleaming white teeth. Robin was grateful for the pane of glass between them, but gave a teasing tweet at the same time.
The thought of breakfast made Robin hungry, his tiny stomach emitting the faintest of gurgles. He turned his back on the cat and, with a cocky flick of his tawny brown tail, flew towards the bushes at the other end of the garden.
He foraged amongst the fallen leaves, but found no prize grubs there. He pecked around, the frozen ground unyielding to his foraging. Not much chance of pulling out a nice juicy worm this morning. Perhaps if he quenched his thirst, that would at least quell his hunger pangs a little. But the water was solid and he slid across the water’s surface in the bird bath.
As the chill seeped into his toes, he took flight once more, returning to the relative warmth of the windowsill, where he heard squeals and giggles from the little humans in the house. He put his head under his wing to warm his beak and, perhaps, snooze a while.
He heard the sound of a door opening and perked up. The human placed a couple of dishes on the doorstep before retreating back into the warmth. Robin fluttered over and twittered with glee. One dish contained some juicy, wriggling mealworms and the smoky aroma of bacon rinds, the second some warm water.
Robin wouldn’t go hungry that Christmas morning after all.