I love birds. All kinds. Even vultures are cool. They always look like a mean relative you caught doing something they shouldn’t. I absolutely LOVE talking birds. I keep threatening to get one. I think it would be cool to do a two-part harmony with a talking bird, but they are probably more disposed to rap music. With their long life expectancy, I am sure it would outlive me, leaving me with great concerns for Wolfie (I’ve already named the bird I will never get) when I go on to The Next Big Thing. Yes, its a reference to Tom Hulce’s brilliant Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the multi-oscar film Amadeus. When I was six and living in Japan, a friend of our family dropped by carrying a little swath of a baby blanket in her cupped hands. There was a slight movement under the blanket and when she gently peeled back the cloth, a tiny little bird face appeared. My heart melted. She went on to explain that the tiny bird had flown into the grill of her car as they were leaving the U.S. Embassy. The little thing had a broken right wing and couldn’t fly. She knew of my love for animals so she thought of me. I raised the little guy for about two months, and the coolest part was finding grubs, worms, and other nasty things that disgusted my sister for him to eat. First, I just started him on bread and little eyedrops of water. I would take him out every day when he started walking around more, and I would put him in a blanket. I would send him airborne, a little at a time, and he would try flapping his wings to no avail and fall back into the soft blanket. After repeating this ritual every day for a week, one day I sent him airborne, he flapped his healed wing, and off he flew, never to be seen again. Now, I would love to tell of a tearful reunion later with my most precious little feathered friend, that would be a writer’s dream. But hey, he was a bird. I doubt I could pick him out of a lineup or recognize any relatives of his. But I still miss the little guy. Go figure. In England, I had Fred the Budgie. He was a precocious little bird and perched atop my head as I walked around the house, displaying my Magical All-Knowing Bird Greatness. He flew away the first time I answered the door.
I had established myself as a Great Bird-Healer BEFORE Robert Stroud, the Birdman of Alcatraz portrayed by none other than Burt Lancaster. But I suppose Mark Diaz, the Birdboy of Nakagami-Akashima doesn’t quite have the same Hollywood punch.