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When all else fails, buy your 16th Bird Book!

October 27, 2010

I think that’s going to be my new mantra. My silence, these past couple of days, has been due, in large part, to disbelief. For those of you who are non-Toronto dwellers, I’m sure you’ve heard about our new Mayor. I’d link to him, but I shudder at the thought of him getting any more publicity. Ah well… this isn’t a political blog, and thankfully Rob Ford hasn’t said anything dismal about birding (I doubt he knows it exists; besides, the only words he seems to know are “tax cuts” and “gravy train”, which he tosses around without ever explaining exactly what he means, but I guess I’m asking too much of my mayor, aren’t I…).

So, what did I do to make myself feel better the day after election day? I went to Book City to browse their discount tables and found a fabulous book called Flights of Fancy by Peter Tate about birds in legends, myths and superstitions. And there it was, in all its hardcover glory!

It’s a beautiful little book, with plenty of birdful nuggets about all sorts of birds ranging from blackbirds to wrens and wrynecks. Here’s an example of a rather bizarre Transylvanian ritual I learned about involving none other than the Cockerel (conveniently named Gallus gallus in Latin). Apparently, cockerels are linked to childbirth and healing. The day a woman would leave her house for the first time after giving birth, a cockerel would be cut in half and nailed to her door. That way, the magic properties of the cockerel would be transferred to the woman and would speed up the recovery process after childbirth! Who knew? Oh, those cockerels…

It’s a delightful book, overall. I only wish that the illustrations were in color!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2010 9:43 pm

    That’s so funny. I saw the book on the discount table and thought I should send you an email. You beat me to it!

  2. October 27, 2010 10:42 pm

    Have to do something with those annoying cockerels!

  3. October 28, 2010 1:02 pm

    When all else fails, and even when it doesn’t, I think it makes sense to buy any book at all.

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