Look, Helen, I know Aunt Feathers has been squawking around a lot more lately, but she couldn’t have said what you’re implying. Do you know how many painstaking mornings I’ve spent teaching her some semblance of manners?

Helen—she’s a pretty bird, and a polite one at that. She’s a Yankees fan; she’s even sporting a cap during most of the season, and she’s got a Bronx Bombers sticker right up next to her swingset. But she’s not a snob about it. You’ve gotta understand, I don’t even know how Aunt Feathers could know so much about Brian.

Yes, I know he’s been enjoying his accounting job, I heard he got a raise recently. That company must be treating him nicely. Todson and Sons, is it? He said they’ve got some fancy cubicles and a good retirement fund and…

Feathers! Quiet down, you know I’ve been trying to find a job. It’s not fair that I have to stay home, but I know I can find good work with those computer skills I have.

Back to that comment she made. Aunt Feathers flutters about the house peeping into conversations she shouldn’t be a part of, and maybe she caught wind of the phone call you and I were having the other day. Or the dinner conversation. Todson and Sons does sound great; what does Brian’s day-to-day look like again? I heard he’s working 10-5 and has some time to recreate. That job sure did look great when I went up for it. I thought I had a good shot too, but I guess that ship sailed.

No, of course not! Wiffle ball is one of my favorites, and those twenty-somethings are competitive marketing managers by day and legitimate athletes by night. We’ve been over this, Ms. Davidson. I know you come from a thoroughbred line of wiffle ball prowess. Why would we want to comment on that?

Let’s think about this, now. She’s been up all night tending to her nest-making duties, and might’ve begun slurring her words as she drifted to sleep. Maybe it was those pills we gave her… I’m just telling you I swear I didn’t teach Aunt Feathers to say that.

Honey! You’re back so soon from painting. How’d it… No, hush, babe, Brian didn’t steal my job all those years ago.

C. Thorpe