“Birds have the greatest variety of notes; they have indeed a variety, which seems almost sufficient to make a speech adequate to the purposes of a life which is regulated by instinct, and can admit little change or improvement. To the cries of birds, curiosity or superstition has always been attentive; many have studied the language of the feathered tribes, and some have boasted that they understood it.”
Lady MuchRuffles: Wherefore do those birds twitter ?
Mr FortlyBreeches : Why, for the pleasure of mankind, that we may hear their song!
Lady MuchRuffles : What sort of song is that then ?
Dr Belch : Why, ‘tis a great nattering of beaks, an explosion of feathers, a great flapping of wings, a snort of snuff, a great sneeze, – not worth the air it besprinkles!
Mr FortlyBreeches: I believe from those who study these things that the tweeting offers much in the way of enlightenment…
Dr Belch : Enlightenment, pah ! It is all so many tiny chirpings, a mighty blast of hot air from so many throats –
Mr FortlyBreeches : But if you were to address them, sir – you could tell them all so in one line – of no more than 140 characters however –
DR Belch : I fear a mere 140 characters would not suffice to tell them what I think of their noise.
Mr FortlyBreeches : Why, sir, I am certain if your put your head to it, you would surely discover a way –
Dr Belch : Have at them then ! (takes a bird and shakes it, but it continues to tweet) You see ? Sans shock, sans sense, sans anything – they tweet on regardless !
Mr FortlyBreeches : Allow me, then dear sir : (proceeds to tweet – immediately the birds begin to listen)
Lady MuchRuffles: Goodness, how did you manage that, dear sir ?
Dr Belch : How, indeed ? Is this trickery ?
(All the birds fly to Mr FortlyBreeches and follow him)
Mr FortlyBreeches : No trickery at all, Dr Belch – I merely told them something they wished to hear . . .
Lady MuchRuffles : Oh Mr FortlyBreeches, I beg that you will teach me how – I am most taken with all these feathered followers !
Mr FortlyBreeches : With pleasure, ma’am.
Dr Belch : Bless me, that would be a trick worth knowing – teach me as well !
(Mr FortlyBreeches and Lady MuchRuffles walk off, arm in arm, followed by birds and at a distance, Dr Belch, all singing ) :
“So, we’ll go now for a-tweeting
So late into the night,
Though our brains be not as thinking
Nor our words be quite as bright
For fluff out-strips good sense
With its value much in doubt;
The aether surely grows dense
With all that stuff about
So the night was made for tweeting,
And the day returns too soon
Yes, we’ll do some more a-tweeting
By the light of the moon