At the apex of the tree-house roof sat the fattest pigeon she had ever seen. It took little imagination to mentally remove the head and feathers, insert a spit and get roasting.
There he sat, surveying the garden. His head seemed to nestle in a shallow hollow, the beak poking tentatively over the parapet of his wishbone. Any sense of ‘neck’ was long gone. His breast swelled with confident immunity to any sudden attack. Only the daggers of her eyes could get him.
He looked over at her, her indignation palpable. But why should it matter to her that he was there? If she would insist on loading the bird feeders with high fat snacks, was that not an invitation to eat them? Okay, so maybe she was sizeist? Only looking out for the finches and tits, with their hop-a-long, delicate, flitty appeal? – but – hey – this is the wild! It’s dog-eat-dog out here. Or pigeon-eats-seeds-and-nuts, at least.
He decided to try and get moving. He felt a little… full… he decided. He had found that after he had developed the knack of emptying the squirrel-proof nut dispenser directly into his own beak and stomach, the inclination to fly had somewhat diminished. He turned to the east and gave himself a nudge.
The pitched roof of the tree-house became a ski-jump run. Tentative step turned to undignified skite, and off he flapped, hoping for aerial buoyancy to trump gravity, which it did, just about.
Meanwhile in the kitchen, Sanstorm loaded her imaginary gun and, as the pigeon prepared for a not-altogether-voluntary landing, she took her shot. With a hypothetical thud, the pigeon breathed its last and sacrificed itself for the sake of a notionally free lunch.
She, theoretically, ran into the garden and picked up the pigeon by its wiry claws, stretched its neck and decapitated it with an imaginary hatchet then deftly plucked the bird, crowing with satisfaction, as the soft and downy pile that settled to her right left behind pocked flesh, revealing that the pigeon was, indeed, as big as a chicken.
It is true to say there is no such thing as a free lunch.
And thanks to Jonathan for this suggestion: