Kickass and birdsong
Kickass, the doorstop dog, was awake on a recent morning as the keeper listened to the robin that begins it’s serious lecturing shortly after 4 a.m. The keeper’s history with birdsong includes a former newspaper college who was convinced a bird in his neighborhood sang the opening notes to The Beautiful Blue Danude; and then there was the keeper’s imposition on his friend Bruce Benward–chairman of the UW music department at the time, to accompany him–the keeper, to the UW Arboretum to give a professional assessment of birdsong. Bruce said many of the major composers, including Beethoven and Handel, were inspired by birdsong. This history not only attests to the keeper’s interest in birdsong, but also his frequent desperation for column-writing subject matter.
While the keeper is convinced that the early robin is singing a lot more than the traditional “Cheer-up, Cheer-up,” he—the keeper, does not have Kickass’s unique ability to communicate with all creatures, and therefore was not aware that in the pre-dawn darkness of this particular morning the robin was singing, “You’re destroying the planet with corporate greed, a nest of mud and grass is all you need. If the pandemic doesn’t get you, excess consumption will. Time is short so go for the thrill.”