An English In Kentucky



















March 11th 2009

   I thought it was a Phoebe on the wheel barrow, but it was too big and its lower tummy had a hint of green yellow.  I had expected a Phoebe and my mind clung to the idea of a Phoebe because it seemed too early in the year for a King Bird.

   It looked at me briefly.  We had that moment of introduction without ever quite catching each other's name and then the Mockingbird appeared, as he often does at this confusing time of year.

   If I had wings I would like to be a King Bird.  I wouldn't be able to sing worth a damn, but I would be able to make a great deal of noise.  I would have fifteen inches of wing, I would weigh a little under two ounces and from head to tail I would be about nine inches.


    I would spend my vacations eating fruit somewhere in South America.  And I would return to Kentucky for the long summer days where I would eat insects, the biggest I could find.

    But in return for such bliss, I would pay a price.  For a month or so I would be almost completely insane.  Stars, moon and tides would combine to give me a tunnel vision that would make all other species nervous of me.  Anything larger than a fruit fly near my nest would be subject to attack.  Including those helicopters that apparently troll for illegal crops.

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