His cry would shiver my house to bits, like an egg, but he no longer crows, just wheezes a broody little cluckle. His very voice makes my neighbour scream... but then again, she hasn't been right in the head since her little ones were stolen by the fair folk.
Autumn comes, as russet and bright as his plumage. My own little egg of a babe comes to me as a surprise from the Midsummer rites, the only time of year when I can leave Cock Rubin.
Winter now, but there's warmth, the new, nestling warmth of a little baby. My slippery white babe twists and squirms happily in the water of a shining tin bath.
Cold in the draughty fastness of the cottage ceiling, Cock Rubin's icy eye tips toward us, in his cocked, balancing head.
Quick and flashing as a falling topaz, he follows his own jealous gaze down; drops and seizes her in his beak.
I follow, too, and with Cold Steel, I carve through his red feathers into flesh.
Right into his stony guts, where I find her, pale and soft, in a charnel heap of grinding gizzard stones and the bones of other fairy-stolen babes.