An English In Kentucky


















Sunday June 1st 2014  Tim Candler


    I guess there might be something about Cardinals. It's that little peak on the top of their heads. The boys will use it when they call, and to see them use it, you have to catch one singing on the electric wire. And they don't often do that, because they prefer to rattle on in the kind of low bush that offers them nesting potential, or somewhere a little higher with leaves to hide behind.  And as a rule there are more boy Cardinals than there are girl Cardinals, which means that sometimes a boy Cardinal becomes anxious about the future of his own particular generation and he'll say "to hell with this, I'm going to try the electric wire, because I have a wonderfully straight back and my peak is perfect." Which is probably just as well, because otherwise, I might not have seen a boy Cardinal use his peak. And I kind of wish him well, which is that kind of downhill that leads to affection, and a Cardinal nest is always pretty low to the ground in something spindly, on flimsy branches, and the longer Snake doesn't really have to exert himself to reach the nest. Then the proud parents get all worked up, and a person has to leave what ever important thing they might have been doing, hunt around for long sticks. And it's all very depressing, and kind of a lost cause, especially in July and August. But there are a lot of Cardinals around so something must be working for their kind.

    The other red bird, can also be very irritating. He is the Boy Summer Tanager. Now, I have gone on and on about the Boy Summer Tanager and I have made a practice of doing so, because short of resorting to something like an automatic weapon or a hell fire missile,  it is the only reward I get. For some years I have tried to adapt a tortuous psychological approach to the relationship, by attempting to think of the Summer Tanager as a practitioner of post structuralism. I'd hoped this might give us a chance to bond, and I did so because my patience with the eccentric knows no bounds. However more recently, I have come to the conclusion that the Summer Tanager is engaged in a very deliberate attempt to drive me toward the padded cell. His song gets in my head, and stays there. It's kind of like when you're playing chess with a technical device, and a particular move enters your dreams, develops a personality of its own, and you can wake up in the middle of the night pretty close to that point which suggests it might be necessary to throw the computer out of the window, then beat at it with the shovel.  So it's kind of important that I review my relationship with the Summer Tanager before things get badly out of kilter.


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