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The Birds (story) – Wikipedia

1952 short story by Daphne du Maurier
For Daphne From Bridgerton
1957 Norwegian novel by Tarjei Vesaas, see The Birds ( novel )

“The Birds”
by Daphne du Maurier
Country United Kingdom
Genre(s) Horror, thriller, novelette
Published in The Apple Tree
Publisher Penguin Books
Media type Print
Publication date 1952

The Birds” is a horror story by the British writer Daphne du Maurier, first published in her 1952 collection The Apple Tree. The story is set in du Maurier’s home county of Cornwall shortly after the end of the Second World War. A farmhand, his family and community come under lethal attack from flocks of birds. By the end of the story, it becomes clear that all of Britain is under aerial assault.

The story was the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Birds, released in 1963, the same year that The Apple Tree was reprinted as The Birds and Other Stories. In 2009, the Irish playwright Conor McPherson adapted the story for the stage at Dublin’s Gate Theatre.


Nat Hocken, a disabled war veteran, works part phút giây for Mr Trigg at his farm on the Cornish coast. One day in early December, he notices unusually large flocks of birds behaving restlessly, và he muses that they have received a message that winter is coming .That night the weather turns bitterly cold. Nat hears a bird insistently tapping on his bedroom window, và when he opens it half a dozen birds fly at his face và try béo peck his eyes. Hearing his children screaming, he rushes into their room bự find that they are being phối upon by many more. Using a blanket as a weapon, he kills as many birds as he can. In the morning he clears up fifty chết robins, finches & other small birds. The others have left .Nat tells his neighbours about the night’s events but is not believed. As he walks mập the beach mập dispose of the chết birds, he realises that what appear mập be whitecaps on the sea are actually tens of thousands of gulls riding the waves, apparently waiting. On the wireless, the Đài truyền hình BBC reports that birds have been massing all kết thúc Britain và that people are being attacked. Anticipating another assault, this phút giây from the gulls, Nat boards up his cottage windows. The BBC announcer appears not Khủng understood the severity of what is mập come. By tam o’clock the gulls have taken flight in vast numbers, darkening the sky .Picking up his daughter from the school bus stop, Nat spots Mr Trigg who agrees béo take her trang chính in his oto. Mr Trigg is unfazed by the official announcements & plans bự shoot the birds for sport. Nat hurries trang chính on foot. Just as he reaches the final field, the gulls descend & attack, tearing at his hands, wrists và neck. Bleeding, he manages Khủng stumble in through his door as a gannet high above him folds its wings & drops lượt thích a stone .Across the country massive flocks of birds gather, acting purposefully phệ force entry into buildings. A national emergency is declared, và people are told not bự leave their homes. The news announcer states that the Đài truyền hình BBC will be going silent for the night và will resume broadcasting the next morning .Nat brings the family into the kitchen for safety, from where they can hear the muffled sounds of birds pressed together on the window sills, trying lớn force an entry. During dinner, they hear the sound of naval guns, và of aeroplanes overhead, followed by the sound of planes crashing as birds fling themselves against the propellors. Eventually the assault dies xuống dốc, and Nat deduces that the birds will attack only when the tide is coming in .The next day, wireless broadcasts bởi not resume. The birds once again phối upon the cottage, even forcing their way in xuống dốc the chimney. During a lull as the tide recedes, Nat & his family walk mập Mr Trigg’s farm béo seek supplies. They pass piles of chết birds, with those still alive peering at them from afar. Finding nobody still alive at the farm, they gather supplies và return trang chính. As the tide turns, the birds resume trying béo smash their way in. Nat listens phệ the sound of splintering wood as the hawks concentrate their attack on the doors. He smokes his last cigarette, then throws the empty pack into the fire & watches it burn .


One interpretation of the story suggests that it reflects the British experience during the Second World War, evoking anxieties about the government’s failure lớn protect their citizens và intrusions into domestic spaces by aggressive interlopers. [ một ]


Du Maurier’s inspiration for the story was the sight of a farmer being attacked by a flock of gulls as he ploughed a field. [ 2 ]

Radio and TV dramatisations[edit]

The story has been dramatised for radio & ti vi on several occasions, including :


Streaming audio[edit]

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