to pick a bird…

20 May, 2012 § Leave a comment

to pick a bird

‘So pick a bird,’ the Water Genie commanded. ‘Any bird.’ This was puzzling. ‘The only bird around here is a wooden peacock,’ Haroun pointed out, reasonably enough. Iff gave a short whiff of disgust. ‘A person may choose what he cannot see,’ he said, as if explaining something very obvious to a very foolish individual. ‘A person may mention a bird’s name even if the creature is not present and correct: crow, quail, hummingbird, bulbul, mynah, parrot, kite. A person may even select a flying creature of his own invention, for example winged horse, flying turtle, airborne whale, space serpent, aeromouse. To give a thing a name, a label, a handle; to rescue it from anonymity, to pluck it out of the Place of Namelessness, in short to identify it – well, that’s a way of bringing the said thing into being. Or, in this case, the said bird or Imaginary Flying Organism.’
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