The Bird with the broken leg.


Late Lorne Blair once told me this story which was not a story because it really happened:

He said: ”You know, after my Ring of Fire film-series, I was asked to lecture on luxury cruises which I did, for it paid my bills. We cruised among the beautiful islands of Indonesia and one regular stop was a harbor that was famous for its bird market.

The captain of the ship would give instructions before we’d set food ashore: he forbade buying any of the birds there. “You would be interfering with the eco-system since we cross important natural barriers that animals by nature might not cross. So it is strictly forbidden to buy any animals. Understood?” After the passengers promised they went off and gazed at the bird marked in town.

But one day, there was an old lady who had not been able to resist her sense of compassion because the bird had a broken leg. The poor thing. Broken leg and all…
So she bought it secretly and smuggled the bird under her coat aboard and kept it in her cabin. But after a few days she had to confess to the captain, since the bird noises were giving her away.  ”I am so sorry, but the poor thing had a broken leg!”
The captain gave her an obligatory reprimand and then forgave her.

Two months passed when we arrived at the same harbor again.
The captain called in the passengers for his usual instructions and everybody went ashore.
I went into town also and was totally astonished because…what did I see in the market?”

He paused for an instant. “You can guess”

I thought hard… What did he see in the market?

Lorne smiled and then continued:”All birds had broken legs. After all, it was the only one that was sold last time…. Apparently tourists want birds with broken legs..”

No scrupules.

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