May 30, 2014 at 9:29 am | Posted in J. Frederick | Leave a comment

birdsBirds are feathered, winged, bipedal, warm-blooded, egg-laying vertebrates of the class Aves.  There are approximately ten thousand living species of birds, and I have made it my personal life’s mission to punch each of them.  I began this project a number of years ago when I was relaxing in my lawn chair with a book and a glass of iced tea, and a rose-breasted grosbeak alighted on the armrest.  So charmed was I by its red and black plumage and white supercilium that I could scarcely resist the urge to punch it as hard as possible.  Having done this and emboldened by the ease with which it was accomplished, I went for a stroll in the woods where I chanced upon a chestnut-rumped heathwren, a bicoloured mouse-warbler, a rufous-sided gerygone, and a scrubtit, and punched each of them in turn.  And so began what has become my life’s work: hunting down a representative of each of the world’s varied avian subspecies and punching them incredibly hard with all the strength I can muster.  I have punched a purple-naped lory and a lesser kestrel; I traveled to Papua New Guinea and punched a slaty-mantled goshawk; I recall with tremendous fondness a bright summer morning in 2009 when, despairing of ever sighting one, I finally came upon a stunning specimen of a white-crowned shama and punched it.  A Craveri’s murrelet, punched; two black-browed albatrosses, punched in unison; a Southern cassowary and a tufted puffin, you ask?  I have punched them both.  Brother, you better believe I have punched a houbara bustard.  My work is far from complete; tomorrow I plan to punch a pied heron, after which I will travel to Botswana to get my fist upside the beak of a wattled crane.  Soon, very soon I hope to punch a blue-fronted lancebill and if it tries to mess with me I’ll punch it twice.  Perhaps I’m just one of those restless souls that always needs something to occupy me; when I have finished with birds, who knows?  Maybe then I’ll turn my attention to mollusks.  I certainly don’t like the way that chambered nautilus was looking at me. -J. Frederick

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