"No, it's not you. It's me. That's the way I am. It's just not my scene."
Not far from where we live, about two hours' drive or so, there is a bird sanctuary. A place designated where birds can live in peace undisturbed and that's the way I like it. However, I was persuaded against my better nature that it would make a nice day out.
"It'll be fun ... They have many birds there we can watch with binoculars. And there are some in cages. Come on ... Drive us there!"
"What? Drive for two hours just to see some birds? The only birds I like to see are the frozen ones in the supermarket!"
Well, it was just as I predicted. A huge area of countryside and semi-forest where we had to walk, and walk, and walk, and every so often stop and listen to different sounds in the trees and try to identify which bird it is. Or search the various branches with binoculars to discover where they were hiding or nesting.
To be honest, I can't tell the difference between a sparrow and an eagle and could not care less. As long as they live in this nature reserve and I live in mine that's all that matters. How would we like it if these birds came to visit our towns and cities to gawp at us getting on with our business? Remember that film by Hitchcock? Even his name was invaded by a bird!
This sanctuary also had an area where a number of birds were kept safe in large cages whilst others were perched on perches and tied by chains to stop their escape. Hundreds and hundreds they were, or so it seemed, all kept together according to species.
"Yes ... yes ... I have also seen all the hawks. They too all look the same apart from size and a small variation in the colour of their plumage. And very excited I was identifying where they originate from; although I noticed none are destined for our oven!
"And I did notice that their beaks, being birds of prey, (or is it pray?), are different looking from a sparrow's beak or that of a pelican."
[NOTE: Yes - there were even pelicans and ostriches there, and penguins too!]
"Why can't we go to the restaurant for a rest and something to eat? Do they have a KFC here?"
Instead, I was frogmarched to the souvenir shop. Well, at least I didn't waddle like a duck or hop like a sparrow or blackbird!
You've guessed it. The souvenir shop was full of ... souvenirs of birds. There were pictures of birds, and posters of birds, and jigsaw puzzles of birds, and key rings, and statues, and postcards, and pencils and pens and a million other things I never imagined existed in the same sentence as birds. I mean ... whoever wants a toilet roll holder with a picture of a swan on it? Whose idea was it to juxtapose the two together? What is the missing link which I am missing here?
"And no ... we do not want that lovely poster of an owl. What will we do with it? Hang it in the bedroom? I would have nightmares if I had those round eyes staring at me as I fell asleep. He looks as if he is ready to attack his prey ... namely me!!!"
Anyway, that was our day at the nature reserve which is only about two hours' drive from where we live and not far enough as far as I am concerned.
We returned home with a car load of souvenirs ... and they did not have a KFC there either!