Little Cayman, British
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Little Cayman is home to a bird species with the funny name, Red-footed
It is said that as much as fifty per cent of the world’s birds
stop off here on their migration from north to south every year.
I am not a birder—one of those people who delights in spotting
birds they have not yet seen—especially if they are rare, and
cataloguing them in a journal.
I like to see all kinds of birds, virtually any kind of bird, whether
common or rare. I could care less about the names of things. This got
me into some trouble in science class. But we are not talking about
science here. Or are we?
I know there is a value to naming. But my joy comes from sitting quietly
so a bird sees I mean them no harm. I like to slowly throw bits of fruit
to see how close they can eventually feel comfortable coming to me.
Junior, one of the waiters, knew I was interested in eating fresh coconut
so when he found one on the ground, he split it open and brought it
to our table. My sister was a little grossed out that I chewed some
of the coconut to throw little bits of it to the birds.
Maybe it was a bit gross to a bystander. It didn’t even occur
to me. Do you think that makes me strange?
(Kim: A little.)
Laurel can have her wild
side but says she draws the line at regurgitation. She is almost always
more appropriate than I am. In all things. And when I see animals, especially
birds. . . ? Well, let's just say that most of my socially sanctioned
behavior goes out the window. I want to sing and talk with them. My
palm fairly itches to make contact.
One of my happiest memories
was feeding my cockatiel, Mr. Crisp, from my mouth when she was a baby
to establish trust. Toast, cheese popcorn, chocolate ice
cream. Those were our favorite foods. Ironically, I eat little of that
I wonder if Crisp misses those things. If eating them at such a young
age ingrained them on her baby bird palette.
Although I didn’t agree with Laurel, I am often willing to submit
to the protocol of polite society, especially if it concerns her.
appears that she doesn't want to be noticed, while you are a socially
conscious performance artist using many public occasions as an opportunity
to change the world (I hope you don't read that as judgmental).)
I apologized and resumed
feeding the birds. This time, with bits of melon from my plate. It was
breakfast time and it didn’t seem right to be the only one eating.
I gave the iguanas bits of egg.
I don’t know the depth of pleasure that Laurel experiences from
scuba diving. It is hard for me to imagine much that is more pleasurable
than having breakfast with her, birds and iguanas in the shadow of a
palm tree, each chewing in our own fashion, each doing the thing necessary
for all forms of life: eating.
(Kim: It forever
amazes me how different we all are. And tied to that, we are not very
accepting of our differences. We have different views on everything,
from what constitutes a clean sink to whether a war intent on freeing
people from a mean dictator is justified.)