Stalin, when he was ill several months ago, summoned 2 likely successors to his side. He also summoned 2 birds.
The first candidate, terrified that the bird would fly free, squeezed the poor creature so tightly that he killed it.
The second, seeing the displeasure cloud over Stalin’s face, was so frightened, that he hardly held the bird at all, and, of course, it escaped.
- “Bring me a bird!”, thundered Stalin.
He held this bird by the legs and slowly, one by one, plucked each feather of this poor creature from his tiny little body.
Stalin then opened his palm and there lay this bird, helpless, naked, shivering.
And he looked up, and smiled gently, and said:
- “You see, this little bird is thankful for the human warmth of my palm.”
It's a fragment of "Cop Killer", the penultimate episode of the TV show "A Nero Wolfe Mystery" (2000 — 2002).
Director: John R. Pepper.
Players in this fragment: Maury Chaykin (Mr. Wolfe), Timothy Hutton (Archie Goodwin), Nicki Guadagni (Tina Vardas), Hrant Alianak (Carl Vardas), Colin Fox (Fritz Brenner).