what are birds

asa s. arthur on 2019-08-04

Illustration by @cubmoth (via twitter)

You’re much too young to remember, but there was a time when birds didn’t look like that. Have a look on the internet if you’re interested, there’s plenty of footage and images of them; just don’t search for “bird” but a particular species like “pigeon” or “hawk”. Yes I suppose they are quite funny looking things to you, but for my generation they were perfectly normal, because they were around. Things still made sense back then. There were birds and they had beaks and feathers — yes, feathers — and they would peck and flap around and get run over by cars. Not like now. It happened quite literally overnight, the world just woke up one morning and discovered that they’d all turned into — been replaced — with these things. Caused havoc with the fast-food industry, I can tell you that, and no small number of pet owners were very upset. Nobody knows how it happened, either. Even the Pope couldn’t offer a suggestion beyond tweeting that “God moves in a mysterious way”; the scientists didn’t have anything better except to say that what had happened was physically impossible and couldn’t have, despite the obvious. The whole furore caused quite a fuss, lots of suicides, new religions and other similar things as you might imagine. Really makes you question your reality, something like that does. I mean, overnight, a whole species of animals turning into pairs of hands, joined at the wrist? Pink, fleshy human hands just flapping around, perching on the sill and tapping on windows with their fingernails? The dawn used to have a chorus, not a damn applause. It’s a mockery of the proper order of things. A bird in the hand used to be worth two in the bush, not more hands. Bloody creepy things they are too. You grew up with it, so god knows what you make of it, must seem normal; but to my generation the whole situation was just totally fucking ludicrous. Oops, don’t tell your mother I swore. People are still trying to find out why it happened even now, years later, but at the end of the day once you’ve gotten over the shock all you can do is just carry on with your life. You run along and play now, grandpa needs a snooze before dinner. I think your mother’s making fish fingers.