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Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 02:34 PM CDT

Sparrows Don’t Buy Condos

North America

Quite often, my walk to Astoria Park -- a green urban sanctuary on the banks of the mighty East River (which is not really a river, but a tidal strait that connects Upper New York Bay to the Long Island Sound, but don’t get me started) -- involves me passing gaudy condos called “Pistilli Riverview East” in what used to be the yellowish-tan Eagle Electric plant. Last week, as I strolled past this eyesore, I took notice of several sparrows nesting in the letter of the condo sign (see accompanying photo). This seemingly benign event set me off on fanciful flight of reflection and recollection.

Sparrows Don’t Buy Condos

Mickey Z. -- World News Trust

May 8, 2013

“Birds scream at the top of their lungs in horrified hellish rage every morning at daybreak to warn us all of the truth. They know the truth. Screaming bloody murder all over the world in our ears, but sadly we don’t speak bird.”

- Kurt Cobain

Quite often, my walk to Astoria Park -- a green urban sanctuary on the banks of the mighty East River (which is not really a river, but a tidal strait that connects Upper New York Bay to the Long Island Sound, but don’t get me started) -- involves me passing gaudy condos called “Pistilli Riverview East” in what used to be the yellowish-tan Eagle Electric plant.

Last week, as I strolled past this eyesore, I took notice of several sparrows nesting in the letter of the condo sign (see accompanying photo). This seemingly benign event set me off on fanciful flight of reflection and recollection.

“Perfection is not an Accident”
Even after Eagle Electric became idle, its motto remained emblazoned in ten-foot-tall letters near the top of the structure: “Perfection is not an Accident.”

Whenever I’d encounter this dormant building and its self-mocking sign, I was wont to contemplate a post-human planet Earth. You see, when the factory was silenced, its small square windows became an alluring target for rock-wielding youths with good enough aim to knock out the glass roughly 20-30 feet up (a favorite sport of mine, many years ago, I must admit).

Eventually, however, with not enough squares left to justify the hooligans’ efforts, it was nature that stepped up to the plate. Each of the glass-free cubbyholes (maybe 10" x 10") became home sweet home to a nest proudly guarded by a pair of chirping sparrow parents.

For these birds, the Eagle Electric edifice was merely part of the landscape -- perhaps not unlike a small mountain or immense tree -- and thus a logical venue for a co-operative form of feathered dwelling. A reminder indeed, that one day, there won’t be humans with lawn mowers (each a suburban Sisyphus) to impede nature’s tide.

Shortly before the transition from factory for peons to file cabinet for yuppies began, I wrote: “Sure, they’ll break ground with much hoopla and sell apartments like proverbial hotcakes, but this structure will eventually face its own mortality and one day, the birds will return.”

The sparrows currently nesting in the condo sign must be chuckling and chirping at how they’ve been underestimated -- yet again.

Picking out the hayseeds
In 1851, the future founders of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden set free several pairs of the previously unknown European House Sparrow inside Brooklyn's immense Green-wood Cemetery.

By picking hayseeds out of horse droppings from the carts used for funerals, these transplanted, tiny birds flourished and are today one of the continent's most ubiquitous and amazing creatures.

They can live as long as 12 years; they can fly at speeds up to 30 MPH; and, if necessary, they can even swim. (FYI: A sparrow has never been known to toil in a factory nor purchase a condo.)

For the purposes of this meandering story, however, sparrows also provide a powerful and inspirational moral:

When all they can supply is horseshit, we must learn how to pick out the hayseeds that enable and empower us not only to survive… but to thrive.

#shifthappens

***

Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook.

© WorldNewsTrust.com -- Share and re-post this story. Please include this copyright notice and a link to World News Trust.

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