Four short stories: a seafaring man has a parrot with an illustrious past; a university lecturer endures a lonely Saturday night; a blind date takes an unexpected turn; and a lady must look after her eight year-old great-great-nephew for two full weeks.
In 'That Innocent Bird', Jock MacSiller was a seafaring man before the loss of his leg forced him ashore. But he still keeps his old parrot, a bird who has an illustrious past himself.
In 'The Heart of Saturday Night', Alex spends his weekend contemplating the decline of his writing career and his love for his colleague's wife.
In 'Jumbo Takes a Bath', Eloise recognises a kindred spirit in her date.
In 'Shalimar', Mrs de Vere, living alone in a house by the sea, has an interesting past. But an accident involving her animal-loving little nephew reconfigures her entire world view.
Part of the Storycuts series, these four stories were previously published in the collection The Atmospheric Railway.