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Tuesday May 29th 2012    Tim Candler

    In their description of Quail, many have used the phrase 'chunky birds.'  And often the word 'plump,' appears somewhere near the beginning of more whimsical sentences.   I think of the word 'plump' as primarily a culinary expression.  "A plump Peacock," for example, suggests a fragrant gravy to me, and I am fairly convinced I can hear the word 'sage,' and smell 'bacon,' and I can hear the groans of those downstairs assigned to polishing silver and who will never see a wish bone with flesh upon it.

      But I am inclined toward the word 'game' when thinking about Quail, which here in Kentucky are Northern Bobwhite.  Nor will I describe them as either 'chunky' or 'plump' or 'chicken-like.'   They are ground nesting birds, their lives are short, a year or three at best, and of the thirty odd eggs a female can lay in the course of her season, very few survive the two long weeks it takes a chick to find enough food to grow into flight.  Yet there they are, out there, in the outdoors, where Rat Snake prowl, Fox Squirrel sunbath, as well as a morning Possum impatient for Tomato to ripen.

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