Friday, May 20, 2011

The Migration Letters


My Dearest Hodenpyl,

It is with regret that I am informing you that I must break off our association. If all the events of my life were under my complete control, I would linger longer and savor the luscious fruit of migration in your muddy embrace. However, urgent duties and obligations have transported me across the country, thus bringing our symbiotic relationship to a tragic close. Perhaps it is for the better; migration will soon languish and die, and you would surely be heartbroken if I abandoned you in favor of other partners. You can anticipate my return in the fall, and, if you produce plentiful warblers, you will surely be seeing me multiple times a week, at least until mid-October. But, the future is uncertain, so let us not worry our minds overmuch.

In the meantime, I encourage you to seduce other birders. To assist you in this venture, I find it appropriate to offer two small tokens of advice. Birders are fickle creatures, with variable tastes, and you may find it necessary to modify your ensnarement techniques.

First, a word about trail conditions. The swashbuckling attitude displayed by many birders is mere bravado; more often than not, these deceitful knaves are timid and will be easily deterred by a few mud wallows. In many spots—especially by the first bridge—your paths have become genuine quagmires, excessively sufficient to strike fear into the heart of the average birder. Relax. Allow your trails dry a bit, do not allow the vegetation to encroach too aggressively upon the trail, and limit the number of spider webs stretched across the path at eye level. Remember this counsel, and you will enjoy higher rates of birder traffic.

Second, once you have attracted birders, cautiously regulate the numbers of warblers you reward them with. Do not be stingy initially, or you may never see those birders again. On the other hand, do not overwhelm a birder on his first visit. Remembering the abundance of feathered jewels, he will return once or twice, and, upon finding a much reduced warbler population, he will leave, almost surely never to return. Instead, slowly tease your clients into submission, first perhaps with a Golden-winged and then with a few Cape Mays or Bay-breasts.

Oh, one last thing. Mind your geese! Last time I visited, I was nearly devoured by these beasts. While many people may enjoy being goosed, goosing takes on an entirely new—and wholly unpleasant—dimension when the agent of this foul action is, indeed, a goose.

Warm Regards,


Neil A. Gilbert

President, Homework Destruction Society

1 comment:

Jerry Jourdan said...

Brilliant post, Neil! Well said.