The Collector of Lost Things - The Great Auk

Great Auk

The hero of The Collector of Lost Things


"Each one watched me, closely, but none of them made any sign of alarm. Unlike the gannets earlier in the day, these birds were peaceful and apparently without fear. The sound of their chatter and growls was remarkable, as it reverberated through their chests and rasped through their beaks. But it also felt unnerving, to be among them, because their size was so similar to that of young children, perhaps three years old; it was as if I was treading through a nursery. I felt naturally protective.

Their eyes were tiny pebbles of glistening black, with a smoky hue I’d never seen before, set in a flat-sided head covered with rows of miniature oiled feathers. When one turned to face me, a subtle iridescence curled across its crown, like the reflected gleam from a polished helmet. Their wings were long and paddle shaped, noticeably missing any form of flight feathers, with front edges that were as bare and hard as wooden rails."


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