“My nona used to trap songbirds,” she said. “In Torino. She told me that they used to string nets along the trees. In the morning they would bring ladders and pluck them out by the dozens.”
“That’s cruel,” said the boy.
“They were starving,” she said. “You know how that feels.”
The boy knew. “Can we catch them too?”
“Nobody can eat them now,” she said. “The birds are why everybody got sick.”
“The birds?” It seemed unlikely.
She went to the window. “The flu came from birds. They gave it to the pigs, who gave it to us.”