Julius couldn’t remember when breeders learned how to transfer people’s minds into birds. He drifted through the bird shop until a sparrow quivering in the back of its cage caught his eye. The bird opened its beak. “I’m Marguerite.”
Julius smiled. A saleswoman made a beeline to the sparrow’s cage. “Do you like this one?”
“Maybe, but what if they…”
“Talk too much?”
“I don’t want to be cruel.”
“Birdsong!” the woman snapped, and Marguerite’s words turned into the faintest of chirps, which quickly trailed off.
The clerk stroked its feathers through the cage. “You’ll find we’ve accounted for every contingency.”