Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Arrogance and Beauty

I thought I knew all the sounds of a blue jay--a caw and a shriek both raspy and harsh. But a clutch of new jays have fledged from the next door oak, and have all this week been saturating the backyard---showing off their wider repertoire.

A fluty whistle was the first surprise. One short high syllable, followed by a long airy whistle, so like a hawk's that I looked up many times expecting and fearing to find one perched too close for comfort. Always it was a jay, looking full grown---sometimes performing its whistle while I watched, lest there be any doubt---as if to teach me how little I know.

They are not subtle, the jays. They demonstrated another sort of toot as well---a single hollow owly hoot on just one tone---no rising or falling, no waver or rasp. It's a tone I've heard often and have long wondered who made it. One mystery solved in exchange for another. If they can whistle nicely, why the more prominent and unpleasant caws?

Not that I've ever minded the raucous jays in the yard. Their visual beauty can not be denied. But why such a curious mix of poor manners and beautiful feathers. The parallel in the human world makes me wonder if it must exist in every society---and if it must, why?

One can always feel relieved not to be a beauty, as it improves one's chances of being kind. dkm

6 comments:

Niki said...

Hi Deb,

Chooks are chickens :o)

I'm doing well on my writing course. Learning about different genres. So far I have written the first 150 words of four stories, each a different genre. Also I had to write the start of a blended genre and write the book blurb for it as well. I'm certainly finding it easier to come up with story ideas now. Though the next part I have to do is come up with a story idea for a teen novel and write why I think a publisher should publish it!!! Not looking forward to that one.

Hope you are well :o)

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dkm said...

Blogspot, how is it that so many spam comments are being added to my blog? I thought blogspot had a provision for not allowing this.

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