Have you ever heard two turtledoves bill and coo when they love? (Lullaby of Birdland, lyric by George David Weiss)
My copy of A Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe is one of the best second-hand treasures I have found. It’s terrific for identifying birds, of course, but I especially like the tone of the writing. The authors, while scientifically accurate, do not shy away from using beautifully evocative language. Here’s the description of the voice of the turtledove: “Softer and ‘sleepier’ than that of other pigeons: a repeated, almost purring, ‘roor-r-r.’ ”
Sleepier! How perfect.
When people are first in love, we often call them love birds and turtledoves. But the interesting relationships in literature and film tend to start with antagonism. Han Solo and Princess Leia, for instance.
A few years ago, my stepmother gave me a copy of George Barr McCutcheon’s 1906 novel Cowardice Court. The cover is beautiful, and it is set partly in the Adirondacks, where I lived for a dozen years. I’m so fond of it that when I made a demo for audiobooks, I included a passage from it. Lady Bazelhurst and Mr. Shaw are feuding antagonists, and they do not “meet cute”.
Be assured, billing and cooing comes later. Though not necessarily between these two. Listen!
You can find copies of this book at abebooks.com.
Or I could read it to you…