We had two unusual visitors today – a kite (locally known as a cheel) and a budgerigar.
Our local denizens are crows and pigeons and we listen to caws and coos in surround sound from sun up to sun down. But today was different. The normal voices were muted. A glance out of the window showed me the kite perched on the terrace of the neighbouring building; the head was still downy and I guessed that it would be the equivalent of a human teenager. I watched it as it glanced imperiously from its vantage point, head turning from side to side almost constantly. And I was immediately reminded of a certain Mother Superior I'd had the misfortune to cross – the kite’s expression and demeanour were the same as that of the aforementioned stern and vigilant disciplinarian!
The similarities in appearance and mannerism in the human and animal worlds crop up so very often. When watching the one or the other, images spring immediately to mind. The most common example would be owners and their dogs: believe me, they do resemble each other - sometimes startlingly so. Such similarities have also been the cartoonist’s inspiration and delight. Sometimes the likeness strikes one at a very inopportune moment necessitating chuckles to be suppressed, accompanied by an urgent desire to be removed from the spot.
And sometimes such similarities are used to illustrate a sermon. A visiting priest waxed long and loud about the frailty of human nature and the tendency to sin. He thundered at the congregation, reminding them of the fires of eternal damnation. When he came to the end of his message, he noticed a man weeping copiously and approached him, thinking that he had touched a deep inner chord. Well, he had but not the one he thought! The man was weeping because he had just lost his billy-goat and the priest had a long and similar beard – the resemblance was just too much for him to bear!! This anecdote is a staple in the Redemptorist repertoire and one that never fails to establish rapport with the congregation.
Our other visitor, the budgie, was small, plump and pale yellow topped with green. It seemed a little fussy and a tad agitated too. It reminded me of someone, but I can’t for the life of me quite remember who!