Rena had lost her wings and for that reason her head. She called her upheavals her ‘fever’ but others had given her condition the psychiatric term of schizophrenia. Rena laughed when she heard the diagnosis, I am a human being and that’s all I have to say about that. She was given little tablets to swallow and sent home to live the rest of her life trouble free.

At home Rena crushed the packets of tablets she had been given and threw them down the chute. Now I can think more clearly, she said. My wings are gone. A part of me has died but I’m still here and I must give my soul over to something worthwhile if I am to find peace in the world once more. Without a meaningful occupation I will shrivel and die in their hospitals, either that or resort to taking my own life.

Rena decided that her only recourse was to turn to the birds for help. Their feathers had bore her in the air at one time. They were her friends, they would not let her down.

So she went to the forest and spoke to a skylark. What can I do to become part of your kingdom she asked. I was once a bird woman but my wings were stolen when I took them off to swim by a lake in the Black Forest and now I am in despair. Can you help me? The skylark stared at her for what seemed like a long time and then said, I know you. You use to dance in the forest at night with the bird people. They are good people, they look after the forest and are kind to the animals. I can’t help you find your wings but perhaps there’s something you can do for the birds that will bring back your joy and your will to live. We need a composer to direct our songs. The dawn chorus is a mess, utterly tuneless. If you can bring some order to the pandemonium it would be invaluable for us and beneficial to you. They both agreed she would need some time to study music to perform the task.

It took several months but when she returned the birds were waiting. Rena moved her baton this way and that and the birds followed her lead. The music they made was beautiful, in fact it was the very same bird sounds she’d heard from her bedroom window in the spring months before sunrise. Whilst she was studying Rena had concluded that the dawn chorus was perfect as it was and that the skylark had known this all along.