THE TRUTH IS THAT WE MIGHT NEVER have found the picture if it hadn't been for the bats, which--contrary to popular belief, Freddie told us--do not build nests but simply roost. Perhaps. But somebody or something had been building up there. You could see the twigs poking out along the rafters, the grass and splinters crosshatching the angles where the beams met the roof. After a preliminary investigation, John claimed a scrap of bright cloth tucked under the far eaves as his. A piece of a favorite plaid shirt gone missing, he said, nearly a month ago now. Had it been the starlings? We told ourselves it had. No matter, because whatever it was kept stirring up clouds of dust, sending pieces of the nest floating down. That was how the photograph of our mother arrived: like a message dropping from the sky. "Look," cried Freddie. She stood in the middle of John's old room wearing someone's ratty bathrobe, waving the photograph. We gathered around. Miranda stood on her tiptoes and held the candle high.