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June 28, 2010


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Drake Zimmerman

Speaking of Canaries... A few years back my wife Jan Elfline bought a canary. Due to several flukes –referrals who explained she treats our birds VERY well, big cages, lots of fresh veggies daily - THE top breeder in the US agreed to sell her a canary. Only she didn't know the breeder from Adam. Later she found out that he consistently had 3 of the top 5 world birds. Her first clue: Where to pick up the bird? At the INTERNATIONAL canary singing contest, of course.

She showed up early asking for him. The other contestants, well, their owners, couldn’t believe she 1. Didn’t know who the guy was and 2. She was getting a canary from him. How did SHE rank? THEY had been pestering him for YEARS to get birds from him. Imagine die hard opera fans' reactions to some local showing up backstage being asked there by some guy named Pavarotti who has offered to give her special unique recording. And she doesn't know he sings opera...

Now picture the international singing competition seeking the world's best canary. The audience is seated in the darkened auditorium that is sealed for the duration of contest - no one can enter or leave, let alone make noise. The world's top canary judges are situated behind a screen, so that visual appearance of the bird is not a factor. Not all canaries dress solely in gold. Some canaries have gray, black and mottled feathers.

On the pitch black stage are several cages, each containing a top contestant for the world's greatest canary, some water and a dish of seeds. A hushed silence descends on the room. Suddenly a spotlight shines on one cage. The chosen bird lets forth. For the allotted time each bird sang its little heart out, giving its best of Avian Aria. The light goes off and he stops. Then the next contestant gets his moment to sing his way into fame. Jan closed her eyes to absorb the exquisite crescendos, trills and vibrato. When she opened her eyes she expected to see a miniature tuxedo-ed fellow with a tiny cummerbund and bottle of throat spray. The bird - Pavvy - sang wonderfully until he passed.

John A Warnick

Thanks Drake for a wonderful comment

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