Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Birds

After 17 fitful hours on a plane, I landed last night in New Delhi, India, just 10 minutes too late to make my connection to Sri Lanka. After much back and forth, several hours of waiting and a few tears of exhaustion, the young men at Air India got me on a new flight tonight and put me up in a five star hotel!

I've just spent the afternoon sitting by the side of what feels like my own private pool, watching chimpunks chase each other and flocks of bird fly aimlessly from one side of the courtyard to the other. Among them is my familiar friend, the pigeon, about half the size of those back home and a good deal friendlier looking. There are also some bright blue birds that are rather exotic to my unseasoned eye.

Watching them got me thinking about the veritable bird phenomenon in Brooklyn. At Old Hollywood we've got them on our fingers, around our necks, and even in our hair. Birds have long been soaked in symbolism: doves as bringers of peace, owls as keepers of knowledge, and lovebirds as, well, I think you get it. But what about the other side of birds, that Hitchcockian underbelly of terror and viciousness?

The other night, while packing, I watched a Discovery Channel special on "Terror Bird," a prehistoric beast that once dominated the South American landscape (the only time a bird has been the predominant predator). Scientists believe those buggers were anywhere from three to ten feet tall, with razor sharp beaks as long as 18 inches. They were fast, too - so, basically, an encounter with Terror Bird was an encounter with death. The Discovery Channel even developed a mechanical Terror Bird to demonstrate just how terrifying that thing really was.

Now, I love all those designs of our other pretty little bird friends, but I'm wondering who's going to make me something with Terror Bird on it, huh? Because that would be fierce - literally.