The Bullfinch Return – 06/06/2021 – Ruy Castro

In a chronicle from the beginning of the year (“Awaiting the Bullfinch”), I lamented that a neighborhood bullfinch, who woke me up with his singing every morning, had disappeared. civilians and uniforms, it was difficult for a citizen to open his eyes and face the day without the call of a bird.

As I have already written with excitement about the said curió, I feared that my description of his whistle —“Fiu-firiu fiu-firiu, fiu-fiu fiu-fiu fiu-fiu” and, as a coda, another “fiu”—would have attracted international traffickers and, as a result, I would be blamed for yet another embezzlement in the national fauna. Or that the Bullfinch himself, depressed by the country, had lost the desire to sing. Then they informed me that his owner, the doorman of the building opposite, had gone to visit his family in the North and had left him with a friend in Jacarepaguá.

A few days ago, however, I heard him again outside: “Fio-fir-fiu-fiu-fiu-fiu-fiu-fiu-fiu-fiu-fiu-fiu!”. Bullfinch was back! I didn’t flinch. I applied the mask, went out and went to talk to its owner and, for the first time, see the bullfinch in person.

Surprise! They were two, not one! Two males, called Brandão and Dois de Ouros. The internship in Jacarepaguá had been followed by the moulting, which, for almost three months, had left them downcast and sad — hence the silence. But now, with new feathers and fluttering, their morning concert was louder and more vibrant than ever. And then I discovered that that musical phrase was a duet: Brandão did the initial double fiu-firiu. Dois de Ouros amended it with the fiu-fiu fiu-fiu fiu-fiu, like a whiplash, and Brandão came back for the final fiu. Like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie!

I admit they were both in cages, each in his own. But they were her home cages. I imagine they feel safer in them than in Jair Bolsonaro’s jungle, as their unfortunate forest brothers know.

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