The visitor

It had been a long slow start to summer. Father Warm had put off visiting as long as he could, had dallied in the Cyclades and quite confused the birds, who had migrated in and right back out again, stung by the chill of the water. And then, in danger of pushing decency to its limits, he had swooped upon the country with grand gesture, laden with gifts and apologies and air kisses, and the frosty atmosphere had thawed.

Everyone knew his ways, but for a few frolicksome days they forgot their fears and deceived themselves he would stay forever.

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