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[Tidbits] The Swallow


Imagine if you will the following scenario: You are living in a dorm
type situation near a lake in mid-summer. 100 cots line two walls in
two straight rows. Insects buzz and dive-bomb through the air. It is
time for you to pick your bed for the night. Which one do you pick?
The answer: The one with the spider-web on the ceiling. Run for that
cot. Scramble for position. For the inhabitant of that bed which
lies beneath the canopy of a large spider’s web is least likely to
get eaten alive that night. Unless of course … outside where the
skeeters play … the swallows dip and turn while dining on a repast
fit for a king … blessing you with relative safety for as long as
this great bird’s appetite lasts.

For thems amongst you who tend to doubt the swallow’s importance in
life and literature as well as jewelry … may I present this little
English folk rhyme:

The robin and the wren,
Are God Almighty’s cock and hen:
The martin and the swallow,
Are the two next birds that follow.

These birds occupy–as you can clearly see–in the hierarchy of bird
land … quite close to top position. And I have not yet touched on
the mythological and magical properties of this stupendous flier.

Harbingers of spring and birds of omen … how did this bird come
into existence? Here’s how it happened: Tereus, son of Ares, ruled
over the Thracians. Feeling the illusion of impunity that often
comes to those in power … he one day cut out the tongue of his
wife’s sister Philomela so that she could tell no one he had
sexually violated her. This did not please the gods one bit.
Impunity and power was theirs and theirs alone to wield. So … they
transformed all three into birds. Tereus became a hoopoe. Philomela
became a nightingale. And Tereus’ wife–who had done nothing by the
way-- became a swallow. So there it is. For those of you out there
who might view this story as some sort of a nonsensical bit of
mythology with no basis in fact … I more than welcome your
versions of how the swallow arrived on our shores of life. Let us
all … once and for all … ferret out the truth as to how the
swallow came to be. Of course … his truth might not be her truth
and your truth might not be my truth … but what the heck … I’m
willing to take a stab at it if you are.

France. Circa 1900. A jeweler wise to the ways of the emergence of
things … decides to make a swallow. Wings outstretched with black
and white enameled feathers … our bird swoops across a gilded sky
… chattering away in a language no longer known to man …
searching searching for diamond studded insects upon which to dine.

This bejeweled bird is nothing short of magnificent. Ya wanna take a

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Tidbits Graphics … and then click on the link that says: Swallow
… in order to view an action-packed … diamond studded bird in

Benjamin Mark