Rare Birds of North America: The Bostonian Crimson Cassowary

November 15, 2017


One hundred years ago, if you had happened to visit a well to do newspaper reading Bostonian reclining on a "chaise longue." You could have glanced over his shoulder and read the following news item: "A young gentleman was found semi- conscious at the foot of a tree yesterday morning. When awakened he rambled on about "Boas", the girl of his dreams and what he described as a giant Thanksgiving turkey...." A young man's night on the town, one would think. Except that the very same situation had occurred several times "boas" and all, in Breakheart, Lynnwoods and Walden pond.

Each incident involved a different young man and his respective fiancée. Unfortunately all of the ex-betrothed, shamed by their recent breakup, were unavailable for comment. 

It took the scrutinizing effort of a Hollywood writer-director-producer decades later to shed light upon this mystery. Indeed the latter found the key to the riddle in the personal diary of a Massachusetts ornithologist who attempted to portray the culprit and its unusual habits. Himself having been a victim of what was to be called the "Bostonian Crimson Cassowary" , he had chosen to keep his discovery a secret. "boas "went out of fashion, the species became extinct and the rest is forgotten history.

Excerpt from "Of Turkeys and Men by " by Jerome Stonebill , PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Ornithology: "The Bostonian Crimson Cassowary" or "Swan in love ", as I later called it, is a nocturnal bird. Guided by the smell of Madeira on a young lover's breath, the Cassowary stalks its victim until he "rendezvous" with his fiancée. Hiding under cover of darkness, the Cassowary mimics with the uttermost skill and poise, the attire and mannerisms of the young lady. However, do not look too close, some cosmetic details are left to be desired, while the overall is best seen from a distance.

Following a long evening of soft spoken words, near kisses, promises to keep, the pretender bids farewell to his sweetheart, his passion still aflame. The Cassowary, preceding the young gentleman by a dozen paces, peeks here and there, from around a corner, accompanying its masquerade with girlish giggles. It shows the desperate lover glimpses of his beloved as if she were inviting him for a second and more exciting encounter. 

Luring the young Romeo into the neighboring woods it leads him on a wild goose chase, beckoning him with loving chuckles.

In the momentum of the race the young lover reaches an emotional paroxysm which ends in the sudden and passionate embrace of a tree trunk. A moment of silence follows, interrupted by the bellowing laughter of the Cassowary, echoing across Walden Pond.

 

Luring the young Romeo into the neighboring woods it leads him on a wild goose chase , beckoning him with loving chuckles. In the momentum of the race the young lover reaches an emotional paroxysm which ends in the sudden and passionate embrace of a tree trunk. 

 

A moment of silence follows, interrupted by the bellowing laughter of the Cassowary , echoing across Walden Pond.

 

 

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