Humor of Spanish-Speaking Bird is adapted from David Sedaris’ humorous book of modern adult fables about talking animals, “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk.”
Here is an excerpt from the chapter ‘The Migrating Warblers’ in the book “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk,” pages 10 & 11:
A yellow warbler and her husband are telling some other birds about their annual migration to spend the winter in Guatemala.
From the southern tip of Texas, the couple would fly over Mexico and then into Central America.
“My family’s been wintering in Guatemala for as long as I can remember,” the warbler would explain.
“Every year, like clockwork, here we come by the tens of thousands -- but do you think any of those Spanish-Speaking birds have bothered to learn English? Not on your life!”
“It’s really horrible,” her husband would say.
“Well, funny too,” his wife would insist. “Horrible and funny. Like this one time I asked this little Guatemalan bird, I said,
‘DON DAY EST TASS LAS GRAN DAYS MOSE CASS DE CAB EYZA?’”
Here her listeners would cock their heads, confused and a little more than impressed.
“Wait a second, you speak that stuff?”
“Oh, I’ve picked some up,” the warbler would say in that offhand manner of hers. “I mean, really, what choice do I have? I guess I’m a pretty quick study. At least I’ve been told that I am.”
“She’s terrific with languages,” her husband would boast, and his wife would raise a wing in protest.
“Well, not always. In this particular case, for instance, I thought I’d asked where all the big horseflies were. A reasonable question, only instead of COB AYO, which is ‘horse’, I said CAB EYZA. So what I really asked was ‘Where are all the big HEADflies?’”
Thinking this was the end of her story, her listeners would quake with polite laughter.
The rest of this tale (which is less funny), and others like it, can be found in the Sedaris book “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk.”