The snow had melted, at least at sea level, and it felt colder and damper than ever, with a vicious wind sweeping across the sea.

Algy tucked himself down into the Marram grass on the dunes at the back of the beach, and wondered where all the skylarks had gone. Were they sheltering in the long grasses too, or had they gone away somewhere for the winter? On a chilly, dark January day it was not easy to believe that in only a few weeks time the larks would start rehearsing again, softly trilling a few lovely notes as they fluttered a little way off the ground, preparing to ascend into the spring skies once more. Algy wished that he could just curl up and go to sleep somewhere nice and warm until then, and not wake up until the glorious songs of the larks announced that it was spring at last…

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