Crooked Climber

In awe of an asymmetrical ascent.

animal avian beak bird

Lovebird, what made you decide that it wasn’t enough to walk on two feet, and how did it occur to you to surmise that your face, repurposed, might become a third limb?

Lovebird, they say that you have a sense of humor, calling into question such a basic assumption of movement in a body. Where others saw only two sides, you found a third way. Where others settled for the old coin metaphor, the mirror, the simple reflection, you said, regarding dimensions, there are more,

and went on your way––up, up, evolving.


Inspired by an article I saw in this morning’s New York Times, about a groundbreaking discovery in lovebird locomotion, overcoming (with other parrots) “a forbidden phenotype.” And by my Grandma, who used to call us “lovebird” and “loverbird,” among other pet names.

I don’t know if the African Grey parrot in the photo does any beak walking, but I love her expression, so am imagining her as the speaker.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I keep watch and listen, mostly in dark places.

6 thoughts on “Crooked Climber”

    1. Hah! Thanks to your comment, I had to look him up, Jeff. Glad I did. I shall have to check out Jonathan Livingston Seagull!

      1. I really had his follow up book, Illusions in mind with that comment. It’s a hippy dippy book that was popular with my crowd when I was 20. JLS is a must read though.

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