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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 7 (November 1, 1929)

Summer's a Bird

Summer's a Bird.

If there is anything certain in this world of ink and blink, it is that summer is a “bird.” We know it, because we get the bird every morning. He arrives with the first flush of dawn, but he is no flusher; he is out to deliver a beakful—the completest range of fruitiest, fluteist, throbbiest, throatiest melody that ever fructified under feathers. He opens the meeting with a restrained throaty murmur like Gertie's morning gargle; then he lets slip a whispering whistle as if reluctant to connect us too abruptly with the daily task; but almost immediately he throws discretion to the dogs and tips over a gross of preludes in everything from A major to “Z stands for Dutch cheese”; he follows up his advantage with a storm of warbles, sinks into low gear for a moment; and then steps on the gurgle-gas and tells the world with variations. He whistles like a tram conductor, hoots like five o'clock, moans like the morning after, and suddenly chirps plaintively as if realising that after all a beak is a poor medium for expressing the emotion which surges beneath his pin-feathers. Nevertheless, he tries them all over again, flinging them over, tossing them through the lead-light, sobbing, whimpering, shouting, gurgling—entreating you with tears in his eyes to believe with him that summer is at hand. Finally he gives it up, positively with a subterranean sob, as if he would say: “You poor cuckoo, if this is not enough to convince you that summer is about to spring, and that it is time to park the chest-protector, may you fry in an asbestos overcoat for the rest of your life.”

And he is right, for—