Wednesday, March 12, 2008
The sparrow charmer
This man was charming the birds out of the sky in the Tuileries, a Paris park, as early as 1868. I don’t know the date of this card, sometime at the beginning of the 20th century. Later in his life he started to go blind. When I wanted to find out more about him I discovered that he was a popular figure and captured the imagination and admiration of many passers by.
He reminded me of the lady who owned the house I rented when I first left home. She was well into her 80s and always busy. One afternoon I went into the garden we shared to hang out some washing and she was on her hands and knees trying to weed the vegetable patch. She was having a difficult time because she was surrounded by birds, sparrows; thrushes, blackbirds, they all got in her way as they tried to pick up the insects and grubs she disturbed by working. She had to keep brushing them away, but they just kept coming back. She too was a very special person.