“Good job, boys,” she said. “Is there anything we can do for you?”
“Thank you, Your Highness,” the Lead Tenor replied. “Could you point the way to your… uh, fountain?”
Princess Qing quirked an eyebrow. “Fountain? There’s one outside, but surely… you don’t mean to…” She stopped, unsure what the quails would intend to do with or at the fountain.
“We’re just really thirsty,” the Bass rumbled in his low voice.
“Oh! Yes! Drinks!” Princess Qing waved a servant over and asked him to set up a new drink dispenser. “Um, is wine alright for you?” she asked the quintet.
The quails bobbed their heads.
Princess Qing was filling up the dispenser for the third time, feeling rather amused. The quintet had been quaffing the wine for at least an hour now. As the night wore on—it was past midnight now—the quintet had gone through various stages of drunkenness.
At first, they were mellow. During those initial twenty minutes or so, they’d spoken to each other in soft voices, discussing their performance for the night, noting down improvement points, before falling silent.
During the second refill, Princess Qing thought that the First Soprano had fallen asleep. The quail was laid out on his back, looking like he’d died. The tenor had kicked him though, eliciting a grunt. Not dead then.
Now, the quintet looked fully awake. They were starting to warble, breaking out in scattered pieces of song. And they were quaffing the wine faster and harder. All it took was the Second Soprano to start the first line of Green Finch and Linnet Bird for the whole quintet to join in heartily and drunkenly. Despite the garbling of the words, the quaffing quintet were still in tune and managing to harmonise—they were professionals, after all.
At the end of the song, all five birds sighed heavily and then fell down, snoring. With a wave of her hand, the princess summoned the servants, who carried the birds up to their assigned rooms to sleep off the wine. Next time, she’d give them grape juice.
Head over to Yuin-Y's for today's illustration.
Here's random research of the day: BIRDS DO GET DRUNK!
And here's mentioned: