It was a mild, bright sort of day for November, so Algy set out in search of new adventures while the sun was still warm. There were strange patterns on the sea at the Horseshoe Bay, whipped up by the wind that was whistling sharply through Algy’s hair, and so he tucked himself tightly into a patch of dead bracken leaves for shelter. Algy was still thinking of the terrible tragedy on the other side of the world, and of how lucky he was to be sitting safely in such a beautiful place on a lovely day. There was very little that a small fluffy bird could do for the devastated people of the Philippines except send them a message of hope, and so he thought of a poem by Emily Dickinson:

          “Hope” is the thing with feathers –
          That perches in the soul –
          And sings the tune without the words –
          And never stops – at all –

          And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
          And sore must be the storm –
          That could abash the little Bird
          That kept so many warm –

[Algy is quoting the first two verses of Emily Dickinson’s poem “Hope” is the thing with feathers.]

On this Remembrance Sunday, when traditionally it is those who have died in war who are remembered, Algy sat in sorrow beside his corner of the mighty ocean – that ocean which is capable of such terrible destruction. And he thought above all of the people of the Philippines – those thousands of men, women and children whose lives had been lost for no reason – and of all those who remained behind to grieve and to try to recover from the shattering devastation of the storm. He remembered a poem by William Blake:

          Can I see another’s woe,
          And not be in sorrow too?
          Can I see another’s grief,
          And not seek for kind relief?

          Can I see a falling tear,
          And not feel my sorrow’s share?
          Can a father see his child
          Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?

[Algy is quoting the first two verses of On Another’s Sorrow by the great English poet of the late 18th/early 19th century, William Blake.]