Billy is six.
I stared down at the little black bird that was gasping on the walk up to my front door. It looked a little tired, so maybe it was just having a rest. Kneeling down next to it, I stuck out a finger and started to stroke its tiny, spread out wings, the beak of it opening and shutting faster and faster like the goldfishes in the pet shop down the road.
"Daddy? Daddy! Look what I found! It's a baby birdie...Daddy?" I gingerly picked up the wheezing bird, eager to show what I had found. The tiny birds eyes were like our next door neighbours chinchilla. Their chinchilla was cute. Walking around the back of our house, I called out to Daddy again. "Daddy? DADDY!" The sight I saw nearly made me drop the feathery bundle in my hands. The swing we had in our garden was knocked over, and was lying on top of Daddy. His face was blue, or maybe purple, and his nose was crushed into the dirt. His arms and legs were flung about like Auntie Megs giant toy octopus.
"Daddy? Are you ok? Daddy, that's rude! Daddy! It is not nice to ignore people! Mummy says so..." I trailed off, realising that he wasn't going to answer my six year old worries. Ever again.
"Oh, Billy. Billy, Billy, Billy, angel, are you alright? Come here." I hugged my teddy bear harder, not wanting to cry in front of my Mummy and the police men. Especially not the police men. I wanted them to think I was big, and brave. Mummy picked me up and I buried my head into her shoulder. It smelt nice, like the perfume at the shops. Her t-shirt was soft, and her hold warm and comforting, just like a Mummy should be.
"Billy? Is it ok if we ask you some questions about what you saw?" I didn't want to say anything to the police man about what had happened to my Daddy. It was private. Besides, he didn't look very friendly, with a caterpillar under his nose and a chin that wobbled every time he walked or talked. He smelt funny too.
"I'm extremely sorry Officer, but Billy is a shy boy and he probably won't tell you anything," Mummy said firmly, giving me a wobbly smile. Her eyes were shiny, and a tear fell down her cheek. Wrapping my arms around her neck, one hand still clutching my teddy bear, I whispered, "I love you Mummy."