“Far from being amh, they are worse than llew, because they kill our young and force us to raise their own. Larger, heavier, they take more food and more care than our own young do. They may not eat us, as llew would, but they devour all the same.” Yn said.

“But surely,” asked Echyd, “surely we can tell the difference. Their eggs would be larger too, yes?”

Yn puffed up, the old sparrow shuddering from wingtips to tail. “Sometimes they are. But the cowbirds will keep a keen watch on their brood, and if you eject their egg, they will descend upon the nest and destroy it–killing all your true young and perhaps even yourself as well. It is the implicit threat they hold over all of us, and they have been growing in numbers every season.”

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