Monday, October 17, 2005

"All but one of his fires out"

I saw not one but two dead birds on the street today, intact but lying lifelessly with their little birdie feet stuck in a final pose until wind or water or car wheels or the street cleaner sweeps them away. One was in Midtown and the other not far from the Battery. What with avian flu in the news these days, I poked around on the internet, and found a page where you can report dead birds to the New York City health department. I did so for one of the birds - the brownish downtown one, not the yellow-speckled one farther uptown. If I were a better bird watcher, I could probably tell you what they were specifically, but I’m not. I didn’t get a call from the department, so I’m not sure whether they went to pick up and test my dead bird. Sorry I didn’t snap a photo, but you can use your imagination.

The title is from Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” The full quote is: “I would scour the swatched town for news of the little world, and find always a dead bird by the Post Office or by the white deserted swings; perhaps a robin, all but one of his fires out.”

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