Pip, a wagtail who never flew south (from Norway) for the winter, alights in Marit's kitchen and stays, becomes a local celebrity, then a cause celebre when a travel bureau offers to fly him to Italy or Africa where he belongs. Marit is notably neurotic for nine (restless sleeps, chronic cries, thoroughly unfounded fears) and walks with hatchet in hand the night before, deciding whether to let Pip go or kill him. Pip gets to Greece (the train porter and airplane stewardess both send detailed reports of his journey) and life goes on. ""Bird-mother"" Marit (Father's nickname) slowly recovers, and in spring a pair of wagtails build their nest nearby. Deliberated droppings.