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An Owl as a Pet

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发表于 7-3-2014 18:45:05 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Ben Downing, Full Feather Jacket. A military historian and an owl make a home together in a London high-rise. Visitors are issued vintage helmets for protection. Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2014
online.wsj.com/articles/book-review-the-owl-who-liked-sitting-on-caesar-by-martin-windrow-1404254664
(book review on Martin Windrow, The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar; Living with a tawny owl. Manhattan: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014)

10 inches tall

Note:
(a) “If the above description makes the book sound funny, touching and divertingly novel, so it is.”
(i) so it is = it is so
(ii) so (adv): "in a manner or way indicated or suggested [examples given]"
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/so

(b) “In the late 1970s, having grown fond of an owl that lived with his brother in rural Kent, Mr Windrow decided to get his own, despite living in a London high-rise. * * * he obtained a month-old Tawny Owl.”
(i) Kent
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent
(The modern name of Kent is derived from the Brythonic word Cantus meaning "rim" or "border")
(ii)
(A) tawny owl
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawny_owl
(B) tawny (adj)
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tawny

(c) Describing first the owl and then the author: “‘It appeared to be wearing a one-piece knitted jumpsuit of pale grey fluff with brown stitching, complete with an attached balaclava helmet. From the face-hole of the fuzzy balaclava, two big, shiny black eyes gazed up at me trustfully. * * * It felt like a big, warm dandelion head against my cheek, and it smelt like a milky new kitten. * * *’ He was a goner.”
(i) balaclava (clothing)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balaclava_(clothing)
(also known as a balaclava helmet or ski mask)

It may be called helmet, but it is not made of metal--but cloth.
(ii) For dandelion head, see Taraxacum
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taraxacum
(“they have very small flowers collected together into a composite flower head” which later turns into a seed head)
(iii) goner (n): “one whose case is hopeless”
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/goner

(d) “At times she [owl] would ‘roost happily’ atop either a door or the author's bust of Germanicus. * * * Decidedly a ‘one-man bird,’ she was highly affectionate with him”
(i) Germanicus
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanicus(15 BC-19 AD; general)
(ii) The "one-man bird" is a wordplay on “one-man woman.”

(e) “Like some warrior played by Toshiro Mifune, she had the touchy air of someone who is ready, at an instant, to take furious offence over some imagined slight. * * * ‘six basic types of call,’ including a ‘sort of “whistling kettle coming to the boil” as she pumps herself up in indignation, eg, when she notices a pigeon lurking around.’"
(i) touchy (adj): “marked by readiness to take offense on slight provocation <he's a little touchy about his past>”
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/touchy
(ii) kettle
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettle

, whose section 2 Stovetop kettles explains how kettle whistles.
(f) “He presents the fruits of his research in a series of interlarded chapters on the behavior, anatomy, place in the British ecosystem and folkloric reputation of owls.”

interlard (vt; from Old French, from entre inter- + larder to lard, from lard, noun): "to vary by intermixture : INTERSPERSE, INTERLACE"
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interlarded
(g) The title of the book (sitting on “Caesar”) refers to Caesar's Royal Lion chair throne arm chair.” Go to images.google.com.
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