Posted by: scribe9 | February 3, 2010

Happy Ground Bird Day!

It may be Ground Hog Day in the US, but not in New Zealand. I don’t know of any burrowing native animals: just the dreaded, imported rabbits. Instead there are ground birds–the kiwi and the weka. And there’s no day to celebrate them that I know of.

The Kiwi Days I’m aware of are all something else:

1. a nickname for Waitangi Day (the anniversay of the founding of New Zealand, this Friday);

2. the name of an old, odd comic strip (I have yet to find a New Zealand cartoon I found very entertaining–the sense of humor is different. The Christchurch paper carries “Zits” as one of its three–only three! almost New York Timesian!–comic strips); and

3. the name of gatherings by expat New Zealanders wherever they may be.

I know of only one song about the kiwi as a bird, rather than a New Zealand person. It’s a Christmas song from the 1960s, about how the kiwi insists on guiding Santa’s sleigh Down Under. “The Kiwis live in a hole in the ground”–now, that could be a song lyric. Someone could rewrite all of  “New York, New York”–but not I.

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