The Hall

In my father’s house there is a room at the bottom of the stairs that has always been called the hall. If you were looking you could find there the telephone, the piano, and my father’s second diorama that displayed smaller migratory birds. The piano and a telephone are still there, but the second diorama and the birds are gone.

1929315_8215722316_8152_n

In the late 80s a man who worked for the Department of Natural Resources, a provincial government institution, saw the display while on a walk with his daughter, a Girl Guide who was attending a camp or some other event on our property. He was delighted, but was concerned that my father should have permits for the birds, and so informed the general bureaucracy to expedite this process.

1929315_8215782316_6527_n

This led to a visit from a man from the Federal Environment Ministry who made a pronouncement that the songbirds and ducks and geese that died out of hunting season (he could, he claimed, tell by their pin-feathers when they had died) were being illegally held in our house, as they were also dual citizens of the USA, where they migrated in winter. He threatened that my father would be prosecuted for holding them. My father complied with his threats by donating them to the Natural History Museum in Regina. They were boxed and, to my knowledge, have never been seen since.

1929315_8215777316_5235_n

My father never stuffed another bird. To fill this place in his soul he took up the restoration of gramophones.

I’m unsure of the moral of this tale: his gramophones are as beautiful as his birds.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s