What a beautiful blue-sky day it was when I stepped out onto the deck here at the stately Motley Manor the other morning and heard the blue jays (actually, they’re called Steller’s Jays) chirping their unique mating calls as they jumped from tree to tree in search of a love-making partner.
Late at night, when the wind is still, I’ll come flying through your door and you’ll know what love is, for I’m a bluebird… Touch your lips with a magic kiss and you’ll be a bluebird too and you’ll know what love can do, I’m a bluebird. (“Bluebird” – Paul McCartney & Wings – 1974).
All this talk about bluebirds reminds me of Mark Twain’s “Blue Jay Yarn,” which I recited in a speech contest whilst in high school and won a trophy in the oratorical interpretation category. It’s kinda’ long-winded, but I’ll shorten it for you.
Whatever a blue jay feels, he can put into language, and no commonplace language, either, but rattling, out-and-out book talk, bristling with metaphor and good grammar. You may say a cat uses good grammar. Well, a cat does, but you let a cat get to pullin’ fur with another cat on a shed, nights, you’ll hear grammar that’ll give you the lockjaw.
Here’s another thing: A jay can out-swear any gentleman in the mines. You think a cat can swear. Well, a cat can; but you give a blue jay a subject that calls for his reserve powers and where is your cat? Yes sir, a jay is everything a man is. A jay can cry, laugh, feel shame. A jay likes gossip and scandal and knows when he’s an ass just as well as you do – maybe better.
One Sunday morning I was sitting out here in front of my cabin, with my cat and listening to the leaves rustling when a blue jay lit on a house with an acorn in his mouth and says,“Hello, I reckon I’ve struck something.” When he spoke, the acorn dropped out of his mouth and rolled down the roof and struck a knothole. He cocked his head to one side, shut one eye and put the other one to the hole. “If I ain’t in luck, it’s a perfectly elegant hole.” So, he flew down and got another acorn and dropped it in.
He continued doin’ this for two months, then more jays began examining the cabin and discovered the front door ajar, and there lay the acorns, about 5,000 of them on the floor. “Well, danged if this fool hasn’t been tryin’ to fill a house with acorns,” said the neighbor. He held in for a spell, but his feelings got the upper hand, and he broke loose and cussed himself black in the face.
Well, I went out on the deck again this morning and, what do you know? The jays were singing a brand-new song.
I’ve been really tryin’, baby, tryin’ to hold back this feeling for so long, and if you feel like I feel, baby, then c’mon, oh, c’mon, whoa, let’s get it on. Ah, baby, let’s get it on. Let’s love baby. Let’s get it on, sugar, let’s get it on, woo-hoo. (“Let’s Get It On” – Marvin Gaye – 1973).
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Keep it flyin’,