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  • I walk from home to my studio through a narrow vine-covered walkway called "Dead-bird Alley." It's not really an alley, and no one but me calls it that, as far as I know.

    I named it Dead-bird Alley several years ago, when I didcovered on my walks back and forth, that there always dead birds there, and new ones almost every day. Since I collect skulls, I would watch hopefully for maggots to clear them or take them home in plastic bags, but usually, the skulls disappeared before I harvested them.

    Today, as walk through Dead-bird Alley, there's another new dead bird, a starling.

    A character for one of my children's books called Wendy Wyatt, Private Eye, is 12 or 13 years old, and fancies herself a detective. In one story, she finds a human skull. As a prequel to that story, she wants to solve the mystery of dead-bird alley. She's been wanting to solve it for three years, but so far, she's failed.

    The reason she's failed is because I've failed.

    I don't know why dead birds appear in that spot and ONLY that spot. I have a few theories, but they are just that, theories.

    And yes, I could make something up. Maybe I will. But personally, I'm stymied. I, Mary, want to know what's really killing them.

    It could be Monsterro, the huge chemical conglomerate that appears as the bad guy in another of my novels. But that's another story, for another time. And if it's not Monsterro, who is it?
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