Wildlife Lesson

I was hunting for something in my personal files for 2002 (first I had to FIND the files for 2002, but that’s another story.) and I ran across parts 1 and 4 of a bird-watching guide I was writing at the time. If the rest of the manuscript still exists, I may issue spotter’s cards at the 2011 Book Fair, so you can check off these birds as you see them. First person to fill a card wins…a full card.

Anyway, what I’ve found is

BIRD-WATCHING AT THE BOOK FAIR #1: The Dark-Browed Glowerer

This species is almost always found as the mate of an Eager-Handed Book Grabber. Each time the Book Grabber picks up a book and coos over it, his mate emits her warning call, “Where Will We Put It? Where Will We Put It?” Not always female: if male, the specimen almost always winds up carrying the bag of prospective purchases, warbling “This Is Enough Now. This is Enough Now.” At Check-Out, whether male or female, the bird croaks, “We Can’t Afford It. We Can’t Afford It.”

There has been some talk of establishing a refuge for this species, so specimens can rest in the company of their own kind and not encumber the Eager-Handed Book Grabbers. This is somewhat controversial, as there is evidence that the Book Grabber buys MORE when the mate is making discouraging sounds.

BIRD-WATCHING AT THE BOOK FAIR #4: The High-Pitched Cross Reference

This species can be found in any row of the Book Fair, exclaiming to its mate, “Tristram Would LOVE This! Tristram Would LOVE This!” These birds almost never buy a book for themselves, preferring instead to shop for other people who will always simply LOVE the book involved.

There are two separate types of this species, which can be distinguished by their cry. Those who shout “Tristram Will LOVE This! Tristram Will LOVE This!’ tend to buy the book or CD involved. Those who cry “Tristram Would LOVE This! Tristram Would LOVE This!” are more likely to put the book back on the table and walk away.

We have asked the federal Government to fund preserves where the first kind will be sheltered, perhaps favoring that species and sending the wouldland variety to extinction. A related problem is that closely associated with the second, non-buying, type of Cross Reference is a third species, the Wild-Eyed Tristram, which can be spotted fluttering around the Book Fair crying, “My friend came in yesterday and said you had a book I need!” 

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