Boy meets nature, boy finds broken Kestrel, boy mends Kestrel, boy takes Kestrel with him to boarding school, boy takes Kestrel with him to WWII. Boy and Kestrel are captured by the Germans, boy and Kestrel escape from POW camp, boy and Kestrel are captured again, boy and Kestrel......
We were thrust at bayonet point into a room on the second floor and lined up infront of a large table littered with papers, telephones,typewriters and other official impedimenta. Behind the table, wearing civilian clothes peering at us through rimless glasses, sat the flesh and blood embodiment of the villainous Gestapo chief that I had seen in scores of films. With pasty face and soulless eyes he was about as alluring as a bird eating spider. As soon as he saw us there before him, bearded filthy and rheumy -eyed with weariness he started barking questions in the approved hollywood manner.
Suddenly his tirade which had sounded like a succession of bursts from a bad-tempered machine gun ceased in mid-volley and I saw our inquisitors cobra eyes fixed on me - where a slight but obvious bulge appeared in my ancient jacket just above the waistline. He threw back his chair and, moving with surprising speed, hurled himself round the table and grabbed me. One podgy white hand dived inside my jacket, in search no doubt of the pocket radio he suspected to be concealed in my bosom. there was a slight upheaval, followed by a yelp of pain. He recoiled and withdrew his hand which was dripping with good Aryan blood.
Cressida had struck her blow for freedom. Now surely Nemesis would strike me down. Feeling if I felt anything, that i really had nothing to lose except life itself I put my hand to my jacket. Cressida scrambled aboard and I withdrew her into the daylight. There we stood Cressida and i exposed to the full fury of this powerful representative of the third reich. I glanced at Cressida , her hackles raised, her wings hanging as she mantled, her eyes glowing like red coals. the expected revolver shot never came. I looked at the Gestapo officer who had retreated a few steps, his pallid face was if anything whiter than ever. I glanced at the armed escort, the henchmen behind the table all were speechless but when I looked longer I saw that they were inarticulate with ill-suppressed laughter.
Well worth a read