A very thin but enchanting book. It opens with the description of a marshland in England, and how a painter, a hunchback with a twisted hand, came to live and paint there, and how he tended the birds.
One day a girl came with an injured bird, too anxious for the bird to be frightened by his reputation for strangeness. It's a snow goose, and he brings it to health and dubs it the princesse perdu. It flies away in the summer but comes back in the winter, and as long as it is there, the girl comes back to visit him, and slowly grows up.
And then one day she came and found him readying his boat. He tells her about Dunkirk, and how any boat that can take the soldiers off is needed.
Most of the rest is what is said of him by soldiers. And a final bit with the girl. An exquisitely written tale. May even board on magic realism.