We are going to call him Keith after my father. I always regret becoming close to predators, because I know that the things they fancy and lust after as menu items are also lovely small creatures that I like to spend time with. Some of my best friends may end up as his lunch.
Don't get me wrong. He's not called Keith because my dad was some kind of predator. That Keith was a giver, and a life-time solver of people's problems, but the thing that is pertinent here is that he was a morning whistler. One of those positive, enthusiastic souls for whom the morning was a cause for celebration and optimism. The sun had risen again, and that is enough to be happy. What a glorious thing it was to hear him whistle through his shower and shave, tunefully making his way back to the wardrobe in his short pyjamas. I fail both the whistling and the pyjama tests.
But the relationship between Keiths is even deeper. The one, pictured and I mimmick each other's call, and I'm almost certain that I can convince him to sing 'Some Enchanted Evening" eventually, but he keeps beginning in the wrong key. We are moving forward and the tunes are relentlessly positive in a 'King and I' popular-musical-sort of way, like the things my dad used to whistle.
So Im naturally drawn to this bird, and he is causing me to whistle, and that causes me to remember my beautiful father, and that causes me to write this post.
So I continue to have confused and passionate relationships with predators and carnivors (like me) even though I believe that in a perfect world, we could all be fallen fruit and seed eaters....I just don't feel optimistic that I can convince this Keith about all the moral arguments that I would love to adopt if I were to become a better soul. But I'm working on his tunes. And he is connecting me with that bit of my father that was unfailingly optimistic despite his understanding of our limitations as humans.
I don't know if he ever understood that despite my turning away from many of the nineteenth Century religious paradigms that he held dearly, he was responsible for my on-going romantic idealism- that feeling that we can all do everything a little bit better if we give it some honest consideration.
Oh, and the bird? He is a grey butcher bird. Along with a clutch of King Parrots, Crimson Rosellas, Common Bronze-Wings, Magpies, Kookaburras, Rainbow Lorikeets, Pink Galahs, Wattlebirds, Honey-Eaters and Blue Fairy Wrens (amongst others) he is a beautiful part of the reason I'm enjoying being here, now.