Writing on the Edge
The Bird's Word
|Posted by Cindy on December 27, 2013 at 11:45 AM|
I, being a well-adjusted and intelligent member of my species, am fluent in a few languages in addition to the smattering of words I know in a couple others. This “English” you humans speak is hard to wrap a beak around. Your soft beaks make noises my hard beak has trouble with. Words with your /b/, /p/, and /m/ noises are particularly difficult. I can get close, and I’ve heard of birds who managed to do better than I do, but they must be some sort of syrinx contortionist.
I don’t like trying to speak a language I’ll never master, so what’s a bird to do? Accept mediocrity? No, thank you. Instead, I have learned a few key phrases that roll well out of my beak. The rest of my communication needs are met by other means. For example, when my human is eating something and forgets to share. I say, “Hello,” in a soft voice until she remembers that I, too, deserve a snack.
When my bowl is empty and my human is not enjoying a snack, I use a different approach. A much more aggressive, obvious sound is needed. I use a few different options. One choice is to go to the chain and padlock that keep the dogs out of my apartment. I grab the chain and give it a good rattling.
Another options is to use the wall of my apartment. Near the floor, there's this metal sheet. If I twist my head just right, I can grab a corner of the metal sheet and click my beak off the edge. The noise is a wonderful TWANG! Sometimes I do that for fun.
Finally, when my bowl is empty, and I’m really, really starving to death because I haven’t had food for a whole hour, I go dump the dried veggie hulls out of my veggie bowl. Then I pick up my bowl and bang it on the floor of my apartment.
That will get my human’s attention. Then I scramble back up to my perch and wait for my human to get me a snack. Once I have a full food bowl, I can chow down.
Communication can be very tasty.