Bubba Stoneskin has two new tricks. The first of these is to scramble off the changing mat and poo on the carpet. The second is to rip off her sun hat and chuck it out the pushchair when we are not looking. Having just spent an arduous step-retracing exercise to retrieve her sun hat we were now on our way home.
Cruising down a country lane we found ourselves fast approaching three little birds standing in the road. In over ten years of driving I have never hit a bird. Sure, there have been some close misses, but the little twits always get out of the way. I remember the Seinfeld episode where George is driving and a pigeon is sitting in the road. His (George's, not the pigeon's) female companion urges him to stop. "They'll get out of the way," says George, "they always do." The next thing you see is feathers everywhere. They'll get out of the way, I thought.
As we closed in the birds panicked. One flew left, one flew right and the third, in an unprecedented display of feathered stupidity, flew straight at us, hitting the car with a thud.
"Ha!" I laughed. There was a brief silence.
"I cannot believe you just laughed," said my wife.
Truth is I have no idea why I laughed. I attempted to defend the indefensible. Maybe it was the cartoon-like way the bird flew at the car. Maybe it was the comical little thud. But, I explained, I didn't actually find it funny, I was sorry we had hit the little fool, it's not like I'm rebelling against nature, slaughtering birds on the slightest whim. She wasn't buying it so we left the conversation there, discussing pleasanter topics such as the prettiness of the French villages, the joy of driving on French roads, the delights of French wine and the beauty of the French countryside. Anyway, you know when you dig yourself a hole, fall in it, scramble out, forget it is there and then fall in again? A few minutes later a butterfly splatted against the windscreen.
"Ha!" I laughed, "I just killed a butterfly."
There's something wrong with me, I should probably seek help.
Just for the record. I genuinely do not take pleasure from killing birds or butterflies.