on the magpie

To: <>, <>
Subject: on the magpie
From: "Ronald D. Batie" <>
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 1996 20:17:22 -0800 (PST)
Mondays are long days in general, and for those of you who answered my 
questionnaire on ecotourism/birding tours (thank you all very much) I 
gave a successful presentation tonight (even showed some slides of 
Australian birds).  I'm past thinking so I'll pass off someone elses work.

>From Mark Twain's "Following the Equator":

"He was once modest, even diffident; but he lost all that when he found 
out he was Australia's sole musical bird.  He has talent, and cuteness, 
and impudence; and in his tame state he is a most satisfactory pet - 
never coming when he is called, always coming when he isn't, and studying 
disobedience as an accomplishment."

"...I was acquainted with a tame magpie in Melbourne.  He had lived in a 
lady's house several years, and believed he owned it.  The lady had tamed 
him, and in return he had tamed the lady.  He was always on deck when not 
wanted, always having his own way, always tyrannizing over the dog, and 
making the cats life a slow sorrow and martydom.  He knew a number of 
tunes and could sing them in perfect time and tune; and would do it, too, 
whenever silence was wanted; and then encore himself and do it again; but 
if he was asked to sing he would go out and take a walk."



Ron Batie
Groveland, CA

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