WFME’s You Decide: A Bird In The Hand or A Bird In The Bush

My decision is not what you might have expected.

Being faced with getting hit in the head with an anvil or a dead kangaroo’s carcass is one thing. Trying to decide between the name “Jon” versus “John” is another. But all famous sayings aside, when you really sit down and think about it, wouldn’t you totally rather have a bird in the bush than a bird in the hand?

Literally speaking, I can agree with that mentality wholeheartedly.

First and foremost, there’s a lot of talk lately about this bird flu thing. They say don’t touch birds, don’t caress birds and definitely don’t share needles with birds. The government suggests that you stay away from birds as often as possible and if you happen to come across one in a wide open field…run as fast as you can.

But for a moment, let us forget about the horrid avian flu.

Assuming for a quick moment that none of the bird population has a deadly disease that could end your life within days, then we can revisit today’s “You Decide” question. Assuming birds are cuddly and cute and will not bite your nose or eat your entire winter’s supply of pine nuts — would you rather have a bird (physically) in your hand or a bird (physically) in a bush nearby?

Like I said, it’s a no-brainer for me.

Personally, I don’t want a bird in my hand for a variety of reasons, which include some of the following reasons:

  • Not a fan of the scent of a bird.
  • Bird feet scratch my skin and make me feel uncomfortable.
  • No bird would hold me in its hand, nor could it, so why should I do it any favors?
  • Bird rhymes with turd, which is most likely the last thing it’s going to leave on my hand before it flies away but after it’s scratched my skin and made me feel uncomfortable.
  • People will think I’m trying to be literarily clever, by recreating one of life’s most famous sayings by holding a bird in my hand.
  • Bird also rhymes with curd, which makes me think of cottage cheese which sort of grosses me out (that is, if it’s not mixed with pineapple in a factory somewhere far far away).
  • Any bird who trusts a human with strong hands (ME) to hold it, ain’t that smart in the first place.

The list of reasons could go on and on, but instead of convincing you that way, why not look at the simplest argument of them all? In the most basic, honest way I can muster the words: birds belong in the bush.

A bush is a small tree. A tree is where birds live, feed, learn to fly from, hang out, et al. A bush is a living breathing green part of this planet whose true reason for being involves providing a home for birds. As an example, if there had been a famous saying that was something like “Me in your hand is like me in your house” you would easily see the reasoning here. I don’t belong in your hand. It’s not natural. But a house? Hoo-boy, I sure do belong in a house because that’s where I belong. And isn’t it all about belonging, anyway?

And listen, just like I wouldn’t force a penguin into my freezer or force a tiger to hang out in my basement inside the tanning bed — I wouldn’t force a bird to hang out in my hand. Strictly in a real world sense, it just makes zero sense to force a bird to be in any non-nature filled environment, and my hand is defintely not one of those places.

So, in summary: bird in hand, bad. Bird in bush, good.

Thank you.

15 comments on “WFME’s You Decide: A Bird In The Hand or A Bird In The Bush

  1. monkeyinabox - May 31, 2006 at 8:08 am -

    What about having Bird Flu or playing the Bird Fluet?

  2. Flower Girl - May 31, 2006 at 8:20 am -

    I have to wholeheartedly agree. My grandmother has a parakeet. I arrived at her house to find that she had accidentally let it out of it’s cage. So I had to find it and try to capture the little @#%@. I was as gentle as can be and the sonofabitch BIT me.

    Had I been permitted to throw the b@stard outside into a bush, I would have. But it would have hurt my grandma’s feelings and we just can’t have that.

    Bird in hand = BAD. Bird in bush = where it belongs.

  3. dgm - May 31, 2006 at 8:24 am -

    [resisting crude comment about preferring a bird in my hand over two in the bush…]

  4. Syd - May 31, 2006 at 9:07 am -

    huh…never looked at it that way before.

  5. Bre - May 31, 2006 at 9:54 am -

    The title of this post made me giggle – a bird in a bush that’s just the sort of middle school humor that does it for me.

    I myself am at an impasse for this one, since I own pet birds, who often perch on my hand (or shoulder for that matter) but, seeing as they were hand raised, wouldn’t know what to do with themselves in a bush.

    Hmm.. this requires further thought

  6. Susan - May 31, 2006 at 10:41 am -

    Pauly, so clearly, in the bush is better. What we WFME readers really need is a “Prognosis” on birds entry.

  7. Pauly D - May 31, 2006 at 10:47 am -

    You bird hand holders need some kind of intervention. That’s just plain loco.

  8. Pierce - May 31, 2006 at 12:02 pm -

    Too. many. punning. opportunities. Brain. shutting. down……

  9. Kevin - May 31, 2006 at 2:03 pm -

    But the part in which your idea fails is that the saying is “a bird in the hand or two in the bush.” If you opt out of the bird in your hand, you will have two of them in there conspiring against “that freak who seems to have something against us so let’s get ‘im!!!” You’re screwed, buddy.

  10. Odie - June 1, 2006 at 5:57 am -

    Well, my bird is chicken and it’s fried, so I definitely want it in my hand.

  11. Pauly D - June 1, 2006 at 6:47 am -

    Odie – I am happy for you, but when is a fried chicken breast in the hand worth two fried chicken breasts in the bush?

    Probably never, unless it’s a KFC breast in the hand and two Popeye’s Chicken wings in the bush.

  12. better safe than sorry - June 1, 2006 at 11:18 am -

    i’ve got this bird thing, it goes back to watching the hitchcock classic when i was a kid. sure, they look all sweet and innocent sitting on that telephone line, but turn your back and they ATTACK!!!

  13. monkeyinabox - June 1, 2006 at 11:29 am -

    Damn, now I want some KFC. Thanks WFME.

  14. sass - June 1, 2006 at 12:26 pm -

    you’re right. bird does rhyme with turd. and its little chicken legs would scratch up your hand, allowing for said poo to seep into your bloodstream. this would cause the localized area to probably swell.

  15. […] You chose between getting hit in the head with an anvil or a dead kangaroo. A bird in the hand or a bird in the bush. Coughing up a lung or a small ferrett. A painless nail in the head or a weekly pedicure and walking around with a ziploc bag filled with water or a severed left arm. They were tough choices that, surprisingly, pale in comparison to your next enigmatic choice. […]

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