Birds are such lovely creatures. Life would be so dull without them. Dublin is like a little sanctuary of nice-looking birds; especially small ones are rather special in their range of colours, movements and sounds. Robin is among my favourite ones. He has beautiful innocent little eyes full of excitement and curiosity. It reminds me of “The Secret Garden”. Probably because the area where I live is a bit like a garden, with all the magic that green carpets, flowers and trees create. However, every bird has its secrets. I wish I could understand their songs to be able to tell their secrets away. Some stories about St. Francis say that he was able to talk to birds. Imagine you say something and a bird answers with its song! So delightful and so impossible for me to achieve.
Again this makes me think of my aunt, for as I recall she would feed sparrows and doves on her balcony. They would eat from her hands. It is from her that my fascination with birds initiated. She was a really special lady, quite polite and funny in her manners. I enjoyed listening to her stories. Her special gifts were children, as well as birds. Once I saw a mouse in her apartment and as every little girl I wasn’t very pleased to see it. Skilfully she began to tell a tale how this mouse had lost his family. He was originally a field mouse, if you didn’t know, and was now lost in the city far from any known relative. He was alone and afraid. When she finished her tale, I wanted to see the mouse again! I call that a twist in the story.
But I was talking about birds. I love watching pied wagtail shaking his tail; he is so funny! Even when he flies, it is as if wagging. He flies as if making waves in the air. And magpie, it jumps as it walks. Tip-tip-tip. Very amusing indeed. I remember a few years ago when I saw my first mistle thrush, supposedly a beautiful singer. However, when I saw him (or was it her?) it was more a cheerful chirp than a song that I could hear. People say thrushes sing in the morning, announcing the sunrise in dawn. It was long after the dawn that I first had a glance at him high up on a tree, so I missed his song. He may have been tired from singing so he retreated to chirping instead. Well, as I said, birds are such lovely creatures that we are privileged to have them in our midst.
Tell me, what are your favourite birds?
© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 2008, edited 19th August 2015)
Photo by © Iva Beranek