Loire 3 - Forest Fantasies

"Koo Koo, Koo Koo."

"What's that??

"What do you mean??," Michele said.

"That sound - it sounds like a cuckoo clock."

"Yee ah - ah - and you never heard one before?"

"Not in a forest."

"You've never heard of a cuckoo bird ?"

My wife, born in Germany, knew the sound and the bird well.
Me.  I thought it only existed in the imagination of old clockmakers.  I never knew that it was a real bird.  I turn 65 years of age in November.

The cuckoo, which derives its name from its subspecies (the Cuculidae) not from commentary on its mental state, evidently can be found almost everywhere with the exception of northern places like my native land. 

The most common form haunts European woodlands like the venue for our conversation and our hike that day, the ForĂȘt d'Amboise.

Influenced with new knowledge, I looked at the forest and the experience of walking through it differently for the rest of the day.  What started out as tranquil and commonplace suddenly seemed exotic and a little exciting.  

I noticed wild flowers and plants that you don't see in Canada, and I looked up at the gnarly pine trees with a kind of wonder.    

Later in the day, deer crossed our path, and I remembered that this was once the royal hunting grounds. I felt for a moment that we were having a 16th century experience.

"You know what?," I said. "I can easily imagine myself living in this forest in medieval times, surviving on wild foods, and maybe poaching deer for the poor like a kind of French Robin Hood."

"Koo Koo, Koo Koo."

"What's that ?"

"Oh, nothing," Michele said.