Birds were such delicate things.

Glen was careful, with that in mind, to take a generous portion of time out of his day to properly tend to them. No last minute fumbling would do within his aviary; no, the newly hatched offsprings of his favorite doves would have to be handled carefully, the freshly feathered children of a still-shy robin were still a little nervous, and the fledglings of one single owl that lurked about the area were far too adventuresome for their own good.

Each needed their own very specialized care, and he was loathe to give them anything but.

Near the water, a mother duck lurked, as did the clamour of her ducklings, and Glen could only sigh when they approached, quacking and shrieking and nipping at the ends of his cloak, insisting on individual attention each. He would scoop each up, one by one, politely inquiring as to what was the matter, before simply giving in and sitting upon the ground, letting the mess of them gather into his lap, and regretting it every single time because they would simply stay there, content to nap as a warm, feathery heap, and thus preventing him from moving for hours on end.

Now was one such occasion.

One duckling's head lifted sleepily as the Duke of the Baskervilles shifted, beak parted for a high trill. Glen's brow furrowed. It was interesting that ducklings didn't exactly quack all the time. And they would always stare at him – all birds did – as if they expected him to understand.

"What?" he fondly murmured, stroking the tiny thing's delicate head with the pad of his thumb. "What's wrong?"

If only he could ask people such similar questions, so openly and so frankly.

If only people were so warm and sleepy and easy to deal with.

The mother duck simply quacked from where she had been nibbling about in the grass, and waddled over after another moment, setting herself into the velour of his cloak quite comfortable. Well, Glen thought with an upward, resigned turn of his eyes, there is definitely no escape now. And so he simply leaned back, careful of his precious cargo, to stretch out upon the grass and nap. Never mind that he would undoubtedly awaken hours later, ducks still piled upon him, Jack laughing at the sight and teasing him for days.

All of that was fine, if it meant a sort of dreamy slice of peace, no matter how temporary.