Rain had come in the night, but the leaves of the potted olive tree it hadn’t dared touch beneath the wooden overhang – a shield to keep autumn away from summer’s symbol; living, breathing emblem of the fields of Italy.  And yet its branches, twigs for a dove, grew brightly verdant.

The dark pigeon on the roof opposite eyed the tree with suspicion.  Ever jealous of anything to do with its whiter cousin, this bitterness had been inherited from previous generations of feather grey.  Talons searching for hold on tiles yet wetly slick, its rosy orange and beady eye stood out in ire, wholly oblivious to more pressing concerns.

Rain had come in the night; so heavy a downpour, you could still taste it on the morning air.  The cat sat patiently and slowly licked its paws and claws.  Its tail switched when it licked its lips.