Harry put down his knife and picked up his baccy tin. The woman at the corner shop, the one on Cuthorn Road that used to be a post office, had left him an ounce of Gold Shag which should last him a week or more if he eked it out. Just as well, too. He seen the doll he made her in the window of the shop for twenty quid. Twenty quid! No wonder she was happy to leave him a fiver's worth of shag.
He filled his pipe and lit it with a match, resting his back against the concrete wall of his shelter. It used to be a woodland hide but the new road had driven away all the birds and now it was home to Harry and his friends. He puffed on his pipe, enjoying the warmth of the sun through the fresh spring leaves. He'd got through another winter without interference from well meaning busybodies.
He picked up the doll he'd been working on. Each joint had been carved and pinned to be articulate, the torso in two section and the chest with a tiny hinged compartment. He took one more puff of his pipe then took up the knife again, levering open the doll's intricately carved chest.
He reached for the little wicker cage at his feet and opened it, drawing out a starling that had been too greedy and too trusting. It's heart would be just the perfect size. It made his dolls special.