Wednesday, 31 August 2016

An absence of original thought.

A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought. ~ Lord Peter Wimsey

This is why there are no new stories, just the old ones retold. Sometimes they are told better but there is nothing new under the sun.

We had, one summer, a pair of tiny honeyeaters raise a pallid cuckoo chick. The chick was enormous & bulged out of its nest, the foster parents frantic. From first light to last the chick called & called, demanding food.  The harried parents fluttered to & fro bringing choicest morsels & driving my household crazy.  The novelty of the dangling nest so close to our bedroom window dissipated fast in the light of incessant demands but we grew so used to the constant calling we failed to notice when one day it stopped. Even cuckoos eventually leave their nest.

Not all cuckoos are parasites. Generally they are shy & solitary birds.  We may never have noticed them except that our bedroom is perched amongst the treetops in such a way it is possible to see all sorts of birdlife that would be otherwise missed ~ though we have ground dwellers too: koel & rails & the brilliantly coloured pittas which my cats catch & bring to me because they know birds are meant to fly & any bird on the ground obviously needs some help.

Birds are like quotations: they repeat themselves from season to season. The curlews are nesting on the ground already. Soon the male pheasants will begin their lovelorn boom & the *Mo* will call for his answering *poke*.