Saturday, June 16, 2007

The language of birds

I heard on the radio a while back that a lark composes a symphony every day. In discussion with Bryan we decided this was no great feat - for if you take the song of the lark as language rather than music - then it's no wonder they don't repeat themselves. After all, we don't say the same thing every day either. Could that mean - to ears that may hear music in words - our words are our symphonies? I suppose the difference is that the lark's song is a monologue, whereas human speech (in most cases) is dialogue.

Continuing the anthropomorphism theme though - whilst in my garden the other day I looked up to the roof of our house where I saw three birds perched on the TV aerial. One was a small goldfinch, the others were collared doves.

The goldfinch was chattering away as if berating the doves - his lyrical chatter seemed directed to his two aerial companions. But then the dove nearest me decided he'd had enough. One wing outstretched towards the goldfinch, his head turned backwards. The goldfinch flew off, still chattering.

I could just imagine the dove's words because he said it with his body language... "Talk to the wing, buddy."
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