Outside drinking my morning coffee on the front porch as usual, it’s nice and cold and I get to listen to a wood thrush singing on one side of me and a catbird on the other. I can’t imagine a better way to start the day. In my left ear, lacrimae rerum; in my right ear, Rabelais.
The catbird is the resident master of scatting and improvisation. He lifts the “tinkling bell” theme from the wood thrush song and plays with it like a cat toying with a stunned chipmunk. Poor thing, you think, at the same time admiring the cat’s ability to turn on a dime and pounce. The catbird’s laughter does have a touch of cruelty to it: Such a simpleton! he seems to be saying about the more classically inclined thrush. But the thrush keeps right on singing, a deep well full of sweet water.
An idea pops into my head: Friday catbird blogging. It could be the start of something big!
Unfortunately, though, I don’t have a picture of a catbird, so I’ll have to post one of a cat instead. I’m thinking there might be one or two other bloggers out there who wouldn’t mind the occasional photo of a feline – who knows? Stranger things have happened. Anyway, her name is Margaret. I’ve never heard her sing a single note.