cold spring day
fiddle-dee-dee, says the meadowlark
This is a more conversational haiku than many I read. It reminds me strongly of the master Issa’s work. He was always talking to snails and fleas and whatever else was around. I think he would have enjoyed this.
You’re not going to believe this, but it’s a true story: I composed that haiku on a walk with Susan on March 13, when it was in fact cold and some bird did seem pretty upset about it and said so in a disgruntled little warble. The “fiddle-dee-dee indeed” was only meant to approximate birdsong and could have indicated any bird. If it had actually been a meadowlark in good spirits it should have been saying something like “I’m… I’m… I’m goin’ to Minneapolis someday!”
So, now to the hard-to-believe part. Today, March 24, another cold spring day, I went out to get the mail and heard some bird sing “Fiddle-dee-dee indeed!” in a sort of Swedish accent, modulated with a scoop like “ja, sure” at the end. Then another bird answered, but in a slightly different call that sounded like, “Who are you mocking — ME?” They kept exchanging these two sentences with each other. I ran inside and brought out the binoculars. Sure enough, the first bird was a bona fide meadowlark! They must sound like that when it’s too cold to be in love or something.
Then I located the answering bird and it was a red-bellied woodpecker. Why these two were having a conversation I cannot imagine.
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