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The Songbird

For as long as I can remember, my dad was a canary owner.  He scoured pet stores, searching for pretty canaries that sing even better than they look, constantly changing their notes to add variety to the melody.  Finally he would bring the right one home, and from then on we would listen to the bird daily, put at ease by the singing.  After so many years of being raised around these birds, I have to admit I miss them, even though I wouldn't call myself an "animal person."

But honestly, what is an animal person?  I should get that straight before going any further.  Is it someone who is half-animal, half-man/woman?  If that's it, I've obviously never been an animal person and would hate to be one.  If I were even to meet an animal person I would probably run away.  I think of an animal person as someone who really, really likes animals.  Maybe they have a ton of pets or perhaps even bigger aspirations, dreaming of one day running their own zoo.  Either way, I am certainly not an animal person.  I don't particularly like animals, I have no pets and I quickly grow bored any time I step into a zoo. 

Back to canaries, my dad has bought quite a few good ones throughout my life.  It's tough to know if you're going to get a good singer or not, because when you buy them they often times haven't even begun singing yet.  You might end up with a canary that doesn't even like to sing.  It just sits in its cage, staring at the cold, gray wires that block it from freedom.  Then again, the bird owner might end up lucky and purchase a canary that sings it's heart out every morning.  These are the ones that know many different tunes and seem to never run out of breath.  I remember one particularly canary did its best singing when I listened to rap music.  I guess that bird just loved rap and wanted to blend in with the background music.

It's important to remember the canary's singing can be an acquired taste.  The same way it takes a large amount of coffee drinking to enjoy coffee, or months of exposure to opera before one appreciates the high pitched, shrill notes of the singers, the sound of the canary might not be enjoyable at first.  In fact, I imagine some people get so annoyed with canaries that they start throwing shoes or the nearest TV remote at the cage.  Of course this is something only a short tempered, animal hating person would do.  I think my parent's cocker spaniel loathed the canarie's song because one time it got into its cage and ate the bird.  In a few chews and a swallow, she destroyed years of great music that would have filled the house.

I suppose now would be the right time to ask why does the caged bird sing?  But really that is a question I don't want to tackle.  It would take many more paragraphs of deep thinking and philosophy to come to a conclusion.  Instead, I feel we shouldn't ask questions, we should simply be thankful for the great music produced by these song birds.  Whether you are an "animal person" or a bird lover trying to decide what kind of pet to get next, one must consider the canary.