Monday, June 11, 2007
Pierrot Le Fou
I asked for a bird, and received a Parisian Canary. For the moment I'm calling him Le Fou, since, as Sasha says, he looks crazy, like something perpetually trapped in a windtunnel. He's tiny and his feathers are yolk yellow, white, charcoal and bark brown, all scrambled about in a frilly whirl that ought to become inspiration for next spring's fashion. He came to us wounded--his girlfriend, maybe sensing his impending departure, attacked his foot, and he dripped small amounts of blood on his perch during his first 24 hours. All the same he began singing the very day he arrived, which I took as a sign that he approved of his new surroundings. He's warmed to the call of sparrows and finches through the open door, and hasn't seemed to mind the crasser caterwaul of the foot-long crows that appear like inky blots in the air above the garden. (For the moment, the jays have disappeared.) I take him out in his cage for air, but worry as the overfed robins and the wily squirrels begin circling in. Animal curiosity or something more predatory? I don't wait to find out. I bring Le Fou inside.
This morning I put on the radio, having read that this species loves classical music. Now Fou is singing in loving, if independent, accompaniment. The song that projects grandly from his tiny mouth is exquisitely pitched and variously phrased. He inquisitively chirps as though to say--So? So? and then launches into complex arias. Right now the local classical station is playing a segment called "For The Birds," and Fou is alternately silenced and provoked to elaborate song. He really let go during the Swan Lake Waltz No. 2.
The Parisian Canary is solitary, timid and a bit high strung. I know the type.
His flying is limited to a great deal of horizontal dashing, the kind Mark Morris' dancers often do in chorus. And then of a sudden he'll flutter his wings with flourish, also like one of Mark's dancers, and remind you that beauty, joy and pleasure arrive suddenly, like bubbles from below, and just as suddenly are gone.