An English In Kentucky


















Saturday July 19th 2014  Tim Candler


    There's a Chipping Sparrow in the Vegetable Garden who has been absent tail feathers for maybe six or seven weeks.  And I'll tell you this much, it's a very cute Chipping Sparrow. A cuteness that could have something to do with an absence of tail feathers, or it could have something to do with some part of this Chipping Sparrow's character.  He, or she, will follow the Gardener around during that period of the day the Gardner devotes to his hose pipes, not an easy time for anyone, because hose pipes are designed by the devil to test a Gardener's ability to survive in hell. And I think the tail featherless Chipping Sparrow might be the devil's agent here where I live because during moments of discord between man and hose pipe, the tail featherless Chipping Sparrow will sit still in the fence wire, and very obviously is taking mental notes.

     I guess the questions are endless, but the first one that springs to my mind is how did this Chipping Sparrow lose tail feathers. And here, I always find myself thinking it has something to do with sitting on eggs. Then you sort of have to think that maybe some feral rogue pounced, and the Chipping Sparrow went Lizard tail and flew safe to the high places. And being without tail feathers for a Chipping Sparrow has to be awkward, because I have noticed that a tail featherless Chipping Sparrow tends to prefer flying low and in straight lines, which suggests to me that an absence of tail feathers interferes with flight patterns. Then there is the business of appearance, how do Chipping Sparrows feel about tail featherless-ness in others of their kind. And I guess it's at this point that a Chipping Sparrow has no option but to enter a negotiation with the devil. A something that my own species seems to increasingly  accomplish by going shopping.

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