I have a sneaking suspicion that birds dance more than we may assume. Especially when they think that nobody else is around. I may have seen Owlets in action, without their knowledge. I can’t be sure. They may have just been belligerent about being spotted. Perhaps they had food poisoning. I am not an ornithologist. Or a reasonable person.
Besides, I don’t know anything about dancing. My left foot thinks for itself. We haven’t been on the same page for a decade. The right one has been fractured multiple times. Since 2012, it has suffered three hairline fractures, a shattered ankle, and two broken toes. But it’s no excuse. I have always danced with the grace of a rubber chicken impaled on the horn of an angry rhino.
As a teenager, I knew that I couldn’t dance. I didn’t want to admit it. Because I couldn’t sing or play the guitar either. Back then, I thought it meant that no girl would go out with me. But I had my friends, relatives, and colleagues fooled for a long time. I hid my terrible moves during weddings, birthday parties, and other drunken stupors.
I hadn’t seen the humor in it when I first stumbled upon the routine. I made a dash to the dance-floor and pointed one of my forefingers to the ceiling and the other – down to the ground. I shuffled them back and forth. And I threw laid-back bicycle kicks, to mix things up.
I was surprised when everyone assumed it was a slapstick tribute to the disco culture of the Eighties. I heard them giggle and whisper, “He’s funny, that guy”.
I had a good run. Only a few years ago, at an office party, had I come undone. Someone loudly remarked about how they had seen me do this before on a couple of occasions. I wanted to slink away, while lying low, in embarrassment. Like a vampire, cowering under his cape, while exposed to the light. To all the lies.
Just like that, the facade was over. The dream was dead.
Since then, Mr. Bean has been helping me out. His dance moves are so much easier to mimic. People seem to think it is a funny act. I am confident about keeping it together for 10 more years.
After that, I am going to have to rely on Spotted Owlets and Jungle Owlets to teach me a thing or two about gyrating my hips, and swinging my limbs with some degree of panache. They cavort, to the jostling of leaves and the caressing of the wind, like angry dancers on an acid trip.
It seems that they care not a hoot about choreography. Only that they feel their souls jiggle, happily and generously.