As he would wake up every morning thinking about the birds, she left him. He would wake up thinking about the birds and the other small animals and the cold. And he would say things about them, the small animals and the biting cold. He wanted to inhabit their small lives in some way. He wanted to talk about them. Her eyes would signal to him across the breakfast table. She would shift her body sideways and glower across her cereal bowl. But still he prated on. And then one day her chair in the breakfast nook was empty. He stared at the yellow vinyl emptiness of it.