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My true love gave to me… A partridge in a pear tree.

Christmas morning dawned bright and clear, and she sighed as she looked out of the window.

She could see lights twinkling in windows, and knew that in many of those houses there were excited children, families and lovers, all exchanging presents and enjoying the happiest day of the year.

Not in her house.

It was the first Christmas she would spend alone, and although she had been trying to be festive, she just wasn’t feeling the Christmas spirit. She had the tree up, and the lights on, but even her favourite Christmas music couldn’t change the fact that he was gone.

There was a pear tree in the garden that reminded her of him so much it hurt. He had joked when he planted it that now he had brought her the pear tree, he only needed to find the partridge to sit in it and then he could start working on the other eleven days. He always loved pears. She hadn’t eaten one since he died.

She glanced back over her shoulder at the Christmas tree. It was the same tall fake plastic tree they had used for years; she remembered arguing with him over it because she wanted to get a smaller one. The same decorations, which they had bought together. The star on the top, which once upon a time had been his solemn duty to affix because he was tall enough.

This year she’d had to stand on a kitchen chair to do it.

She turned back to the window. There was an unfamiliar bird sitting in the tree, and she idly leafed through the birdwatcher’s book she kept on the windowsill to identify it. It looked a bit like a pheasant, she thought, but not quite.

Realisation suddenly struck her. It was a partridge.

She sat down and smiled.

“Oh, thank you. Happy Christmas, my love,” she whispered.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note- Happy Christmas to you all.)