“Courtesy gives it’s owner a passport round the world. It transmutes aliens into trusting friends…..James Thomas Fields.
“Who stuffed that white owl?
No one spoke in the shop, The barber was busy, and he couldn’t stop; The customers, waiting their turns, were all reading The “Daily,” the “Herald,” the “Post,” little heeding The young man who blurted out such a blunt question; Not one raised a head, or even made a suggestion; And the barber kept on shaving.
“Don’t you see, Mr. Brown,” Cried the youth, with a frown, “How wrong the whole thing is, How preposterous each wing is, How flattened the head is, how jammed down the neck is — In short, the whole owl, what an ignorant wreck ‘t is! I make no apology; I’ve learned owl-eology.
I’ve passed days and nights in a hundred collections, And cannot be blinded to any deflections Arising from unskilful fingers that fail To stuff a bird right, from his beak to his tail. Mister Brown! Mr. Brown! Do take that bird down, Or you’ll soon be the laughingstock all over town!” And the barber kept on shaving.
“I’ve studied owls, And other night-fowls, And I tell you What I know to be true; An owl cannot roost With his limbs so unloosed; No owl in this world Ever had his claws curled, Ever had his legs slanted, Ever had his bill canted, Ever had his neck screwed Into that attitude. He cant do it, because ‘Tis against all bird-laws.
Anatomy teaches, Ornithology preaches, An owl has a toe That can’t turn out so! I’ve made the white owl my study for years, And to see such a job almost moves me to tears! Mr. Brown, I’m amazed You should be so gone crazed As to put up a bird In that posture absurd! To look at that owl really brings on a dizziness; The man who stuffed him don’t half know his business!” And the barber kept shaving.
“Examine those eyes I’m filled with surprise Taxidermists should pass Off on you such poor glass; So unnatural they seem They’d make Audubon scream, And John Burroughs laugh To encounter such chaff. Do take that bird down; Have him stuffed again, Brown!” And the barber kept on shaving!
“With some sawdust and bark I could stuff in the dark An owl better than that. I could make an old hat Look more like an owl Than that horrid fowl, Stuck up there so stiff like a side of coarse leather. In fact, about him there’s not one natural feather.”
Just then, with a wink and a sly normal lurch, The owl, very gravely, got down from his perch, Walked around, and regarded his fault-finding critic (Who thought he was stuffed) with a glance analytic, And then fairly hooted, as if he should say: “Your learning’s at fault this time, anyway: Don’t waste it again on a live bird, I pray. I’m an owl; you’re another. Sir Critic, good day!” And the barber kept on shaving.
James Thomas Fields was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. His father was a sea captain and died before Fields was three. At the age of 14, Fields took a job at the Old Corner Bookstore in Boston. Afterwards, he wrote for the newspapers, and in 1835, he read an anniversary poem entitled Commerce before the Boston Mercantile Library Association.
Fields wrote the following poems: The Lucky Horseshoe; The Lover’s Peril; Patient Mercy Jones; The Captain’s Daughter; Common Sense; With Wordsworth at Rydal.
As with the first poem posted, I was brought up with this poem, only this time it was recited by my father.
If you did nothing else but photograph each awesome sunrise and sunset you would feel fulfilled, and more so if it is in a new location.
Enjoy every day as it comes and try to make the most of it, for better or for worse there is a lesson to be learn’t. Try to be enthusiastic and remember the greatest gift given to all of us is laughter. Do something to make a colleague or friend laugh and you will have a good day.
” When the crow says an intelligent thing, chickens may laugh at it. This is the laughing of the sand castles at the powerful waves…..Mehmet Murat Ildan
Three Black Crows…
Three black crows sat on a tree,
They were as black, as black as crows could be.
Faark, Faark, Faark.
Said one black crow unto the others
“Where shall we dine today my brothers?”
Faark, Faark, Faark
“On yonder hill’s an old grey mare.
I think we might as well dine there”.
Faark, Faark, Faark.
They perched upon her high backbone,
And picked her eyes out one by one.
Said the second black crow unto the other,
“Isn’t she a tough old bugger”
Faark, Faark, Faark.
Up come a squatter with his gun,
And shot them all excepting one.
Now that one black crow got such a fright,
He turned from black right into white.
That is why you’ll often see
A white crow perched upon the tree.
I first heard “Three Black Crows” recited back in the 1950’s . A family friend by the name of Billy Monteith, an old ringer/drover from North Queensland, used to recite it, and I never forgot it. Every time I see or hear a crow and there’re a lot around here, I think of old Billy and his ballad.
“To really feel a forest canopy, one must use different senses, and often the most useful one is the sense of imagination.”…..Joan Maloof
The spirituality of trees
“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.
Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.
A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.
A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.
When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.
A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.
So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.” ― Herman Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte