Never shall I forget the sheer delight and exhilaration of this one magical moment, even though it happened way back in 1932.

As I trudged home from school, down the dusty road on that sunny, sultry June afternoon, I was longing for a cooling drink of ice-cold lemonade that would quench my thirst when I reached my boarding house. Climbing to the crest of a hill beside on old oak tree, I paused for a second to rest and admire the view of the pleasant valley spread out below me.

Suddenly, my eyes caught a furtive movement by the snake rail which enclosed the pasture field to my right. I saw a strangely beautiful, rust-colored bird, industriously hunting juicy caterpillars for his evening meal. Quite dapper with his brown-spotted plumage and bright golden eyes, his long, curved black beak made an excellent tool for the job at hand.

His long tail and short, agile wings, with their white wing bars, guided him unerringly among the branches and leaves of the chokecherry bushes which bloomed along the fence. It was ample cover for this marauder and his numerous quarry.

Entranced, I watched his antics, as he was unaware of my approach. Having satisfied his hunger somewhat, he suddenly burst forth in rapturously delirious song. The clear, flute-like notes tumbled from his throat with such musical cadences and joyous abandon that I stood rooted to the spot. I was afraid the slightest sound might interrupt this delightful concert from one of Nature’s finest minstrels.

Then, having finished his hymn of thanks for such a fine meal, this beautiful songster flitted along the fence in search of more grubs. As I approached gingerly, he flew across the gully towards another clump of wild chokecherry bushes beyond the fence. But my first sighting of the beautiful Brown Thrasher and his glorious song will live forever in my memory as one of life’s deeply satisfying experiences.

Donalda Brown, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada