Boz never talked much. But with a mallet in one hand and a chisel in the other he could work magic. Ellen was all words and fire. She’d been a dancer until foot problems sidelined her. Since then she’d done art therapy and managed a couple of local bands.

Boz and Ellen were a perfect complement. They’d spent their thirties creating a house full of passion. Pictures and fabrics festooned every nook—and there were many, carved from the odd timbers Boz loved.

Ellen was thirty-eight when she became pregnant. She whirred through the months, imagining their new life as parents, telling everyone she met about the plans and hopes that now consumed her. Boz disappeared into his studio for long hours, emerging with handmade toys, nursery furniture and nick-knacks for the baby.

When complications in her final weeks sent Ellen to hospital he was part way through carving the crib, a snug swinging cradle with a frieze of bunnies around the top. The work helped him pass the time. He carved and waited.

Back home at last Ellen went to watch Boz work. He’d taken the cradle from its frame. Now he was finishing a lid for it. They said nothing to each other. So much had already been said, but nothing that could give them peace.

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