At last, listening one morning to the tantalizing clamour overhead, I realized where I had gone wrong. I had tried to be a chorus of geese. I had been attempting something like singing all four parts of a quartet simultaneously. Now I listened carefully and isolated a contralto of about my range in the flock, who kept up an obliging steady honking. I threw back my head, to make my neck as long and gooselike as possible; opened my throat as though I were about to pour something down it, then fooled it at the last moment by howling like a lovelorn wolf--and out came a perfect yelping honk. My contralto friend answered, an echelon of her relatives joined in, so did the dog; and as I crouched there, howling my heart out, wingless but ecstatic, the long V wavered, then turned, and our unlovely duet rose and mingled at last in the wild harmony above as they flew directly over us.
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Thursday, March 21, 2013
Sheila Burnford Quote for the Day: Don't try this in a crowded place.
From The Fields of Noon, by Sheila Burnford, 1964. In this essay, Ms. Burnford recalls her attempt to imitate the vocalizations of various forms of Saskatchewan wildlife.