Indignity Vol. 2, No. 41: Facts on the wing.
NATURAL HISTORY DEP'T.
The Unlisted Birdwatcher
HIGH IN A tree, where the early afternoon sun shone among thin top branches, I saw a flash of red. There was a bird up there—white below, dark above, with a bright red chest. It moved from one branch to another, not close but very clear. It was clear enough that I immediately knew that I didn't know what it was.
That is, it was unknown, to me, but knowable in principle; I had my eyes on an entity, and no name in my head to connect to it. I stopped on the path and kept looking at it. Red chest, white belly, black top, I recited inwardly.
I wanted to say it out loud to someone else. My mom would have known what it was, if she were there. Then I remembered I had the bird app on my phone.
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