‘My dad was curious about the wrens. He sent some off to a museum.’ ‘Dead birds? How did he send them?’ I wanted to know. ‘He preserved them in spirits, and sent them off with our supply ship. Then this naturalist — this bird collector — came to the island and said that he wanted to trap the wrens. As specimens. “Only flightless wrens in the world,” the naturalist said, and he started looking all over. ‘“Can’t find any alive,” he told me after a day or two. “Blame the cats, I do.” ‘So I went out with him. I thought I knew where they were. They’d be hiding among the rocks now that there weren’t any trees left. Or ferns …’ The old man drifted away again. ‘Go on,’ I said, nudging him. ‘But there weren’t any wrens left,’ he said. ‘The cats had killed them. Every last one.’