If you want a good conversation birds should be your first choice, wading birds at the top of the list, although you still have to be quick for if you meander they will lose interest.
Animals are to who you should turn if you need advice on getting through the omnipresent obstacles life raises to impede your smooth passage through it, but note cats tend to be pithy and easily bored.
Cows and horses in the fields have almost infinite patience, and listen when others would turn away, but note that they are easily distracted so it is best to keep a handful of hay at the ready always.
And, remember to bring your dictionaries for birds and animals will speak to you only in their own languages despite the fact that they fully understand yours, but do not deign or desire to be thought of as human.
As a young child, I always imagined myself a bird, poised to take wing the next time my parents told me I couldn’t do what I wanted, to swoop around, out of their grasp, until it was time for lunch or dinner.
Years later my dream was to be a pilot, Air Force not Navy, I might get seasick and that isn’t a sight even I would want to see, until I read Jarrell’s “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner,” and the ground seemed a safer place.
Once in the business world, I thought about some day retiring young and seeing the world on the cheap, Asia, Africa, Oceana, and that lasted until the second time I had to fly to Japan with fourteen hours in a coach class middle seat on a Boeing 747 when my backyard suddenly became the future of my dreams.
This morning, I am certain the earth pulled me down more strongly, as though gravity needed to reassert itself, having lost someone in its grip to the virus, a common complaint as we stumble through still another year.
I fought it off course, the birds in the wetland at once admiring my effort and laughing at what they knew would ultimately be a futile gesture.
You belong to the earth, they said, you arose from it, are bound to it and it is a matter of time before it reclaims you as it does with all.
It was easier, they added, in ancient days, when the gods truly cared, for then you need only sufficiently irritate them before they would sever your earthy bonds to serve eternity in a celestial prison.
I had a meeting this morning with a number of the birds that inhabit our wetland.
The said they wanted to retain my services, although how they discovered I was a lawyer is wholly beyond me as I retired several years ago.
They asked me to draft a cease and desist letter to all Americans, demanding that we stop tweeting, or more to the point, that we call our inane and sometimes violent messages something other than a tweet for that is the sweet trill of their songbird cousins and we are besmirching nature with each new posting.