Pens, Writing, and A Couple of Birds05/24/2011
Did you know that I have cage mates? Well, they think of it that way. Though my workspace/cage is crammed to the brim with ink, paper, books, art supplies, and the usual stuff that goes in an office, there is a high shelf devoted exclusively to a pair of Society Finches. We are an odd threesome.
Both birds are physically challenged and best suited to cage life. In fact their kind do not exist in the wild. Whether by chance or design, they first appeared in aviaries in China more than three hundred years ago. They are considered a domestic finch and quite gentle though not inclined to interact with humans.
My pair can usually be found cuddled together on a perch, a content if not happy couple. They are not loquacious birds but do chat up the locals inciting a delightful riot of calls. They have also been known to scold me from time to time should I be inattentive or fail to meet their concept of a proper schedule or even skip my veggies since they partake of them, too. Thus the arrangement is of mutual benefit.
Even though Thing One and Thing Two complain little, the dynamics of a full social life are absent. In fact Society Finches have been known to hang out with friends to the exclusion of all else, even essential activities like procreating and raising their young. Such a social creature needs a larger flock so soon we will add another cage mate or two.
What does that have to do with pens and writing? Having things around us that bring joy and inspiration are of immeasurable value. My finch friends with all their tweets, twirls, and curious expressions, receive food, shelter, and care. They even toss me seeds from time to time as though to share the wealth. In the great outdoors, they would perish. In my home, they thrive. In return they oversee my work, chide me when I am lazy, and distract me when I need it most. They even make me smile and that is priceless. I wonder if I ever have the same effect on them…