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George never stopped missing his mother. His sense of her loss surfaced at age sixty-eight when a boy approached him asking what to do with a baby wood thrush he had found on the forest floor. He soothed the bird, pacifying its frightened fluttering and the darting about of its head, and told the boy that the newly fledged bird looked alone and helpless, but it had a parent who was missing it. He whistled the cheeping noises it would make to tell its parent where it was, and said, “Now take it back, my boy. You wouldn’t want to be taken from your mother, would you?” When the boy shook his head, he said, “Of course you wouldn’t. None of us would.”
Chapter 1 sample
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