Friday, July 31, 2020


So in Germany, they have these waterbirds called Haubentaucher. I’m not sure if we have them in America. Their body shape, more or less, is that of a duck’s, but their distinguishing feature is the spiky hair on their head. It looks like they are sporting a mohawk.

Anyway, today as Martina and I were walking along a canal near my house, we saw two Haubentaucher in the water. The first thing that I noticed about them was that they were very close together. Also, it looked like something was on one of the birds, perhaps a baby.

"Is that a baby?" I asked Martina. Though she initially said no, on further inspection we discovered that indeed, a Haubentaucher chick was hitching a ride on one of its parents.

“Oh my God, that’s so cute,” I said.

“Wee!” Martina said, as the baby slipped off the adult bird’s backs and into the water. The baby was just a tiny little thing and its head was striped like a zebra.

“Holy shit, is there another one?”

This time Martina told me I was right. Peeking out from the wing of the other Haubentaucher was another black-and-white head.

Then the cutest thing happened. The first baby that I saw crawled back onto his mother (or father) and tucked himself under his (or her) wing. It tucked itself in there so good it was no longer visible.

“Holy shit, did he just go under the wing?”

“Yeah," Martina said, smiling. "So cute."

“That is really, really cute.”

After Martina and I said adieu to this little bird family, I said to her,  "Wow, so that really is where the expression ‘to take someone under your wing' comes from."

“Yeah, we have that too in German, 'Jemanden unter seine Fittiche nehmen.'"

“Yeah, like, to show someone the way, to be their mentor.”

“Yeah, like in business.”


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