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Aubergine

The cardinal hops up when it wakes, and tries to fold its wings down. It can’t. It chirps, sharp notes. Then it only struggles.

Aubergine watches and sketches: lean here, twist. Hop so.

“Oh my God,” says Pira, walking in.

Two loops of strong silk bind its wings at pinions and elbow-joint. It has to be silk; silk doesn’t break. The pectoral muscles of a bird are proportionately stronger than an elephant’s or an ant’s.

“I’m learning,” says Aubergine.

“That’s sick,” says Pira.

“What’s art but a mirror, to see how we affect nature?” asks Aubergine. “What’s dance but movement, restrained?”

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