Bird Talk

I’m looking out a side window near the front of my home, from which I can see the nearest neighbor’s house and a house on the other side of the street in front of yet another neighbor’s place a few doors down. The trees outside this window are close enough for me to see birds flit from leaf to leaf on occasion. One of those birds, I discovered by watching, is named Whistle. Two other birds with which he is most familiar are Chirp and Screech.

Whistle, Chirp, and Screech arrived in Hot Springs Village just yesterday in the back of a moving van from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. They escaped when Glenda Scott raised the overhead roll-up door on the back of the van. Glenda, you may or may not know, was just released from prison, having served a lengthy term for the murder of her married lover. She was not guilty, by the way. Her lover’s wife and long-time best friend, Charmaine Qualls, who did the deed of which Glenda was convicted, set her up. Not that Glenda Scott’s history has anything of consequence to do with Whistle, Chirp, and Screech; Glenda was just the vehicle, as it were, for the birds to get to Hot Springs Village.

As a rule, wild birds do not have names. But these do, because the custom in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina is to give names to three out of every two hundred birds. I cannot explain just why that became the custom in Mount Pleasant, nor how the resident bird-namers keep track of the process. I just know it is true, because a little voice deep inside my head said it was so. One must always listen to the little voices deep inside one’s head, though there’s no rule saying one must act on instructions given by that little voice. Actually, there is a rule, but it says just the opposite. It says, and I quote, “Do not act on instructions given by little voices deep inside one’s head.” Because, of course, such voices obviously emanate from the wild crazies.

But I digress. Whistle, Chirp, and Screech escaped from the van and found a welcoming environment. They’ve take up residence in my “side forest,” a rather sparsely-treed area between my house and the one next door, and my “back forest,” a denser forested area behind my house. I welcome them because, as I understand it, the three birds have a healthy appetite for ants, unpleasant spiders, and wasps.

Ach! I just looked at the clock and realize it’s nearing 6:50 a.m. and my coffee cup is empty. Not only that, but the newspapers are almost certainly waiting for me in the driveway. I shall gather them up and scan them for news about the new arrivals: Whistle, Chirp, Screech, and Glenda.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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