“Why not? Are you chicken?” taunted Jed.
He and Callum rode their bikes along Clegg’s Lane, past undulating green fields until they reached a track turning off towards the ruins of Clibbon’s Farm on a hillside. A sign stated ‘Strictly Private’.
“I’m goin’. You stay here – chicken!”
Jed set off, feeling trepidation. He heard Callum’s bike following and smiled.
Once an imposing building looking over the vale, now broken staircases led to floors, half collapsed. Sheep grazed amongst the ruins and grass sprouted through stone flags. In one corner stood a rusty stove. Callum looked inside. “Hey Jed, come over here!”
On a bed of moss was a dead jackdaw. Its sleek feathers were astonishingly black, its nape a majestic grey and its eyes a piercing silver. Something gleamed in the moss. Callum fished it out. “Look, it’s a ring!”
Jed gasped. “That’s my nan’s! Look inside. There’ll be initials – H.R.K.”
Callum held it up. “Bloody Hell!”
“She was in a home with dementia. Before she died she said she’d given it to a ‘little friend’ for safe keeping. She didn’t trust the staff.”
“What should we do?”
Thoughtfully, Jed replaced the ring and closed the stove door. “Let’s go home…”