Arrow-right Camera


The Slice: Sorry, lady, this story’s for the birds

Sometimes people know just where to turn.

“I’m being bugged by my 9-year-old grandson to call the newspaper and tell them that he talks to birds,” wrote Yvonne Benzinger of Coeur d’Alene.

“I laughed and said the newspaper wouldn’t come interview him and print a story about it. But since he’s insisting, I thought of you.”

Here are the details.

“It’s not just any bird,” said Benzinger. “It’s a quail up in a tree.”

About six feet up in a pine tree, to be precise.

“Carson picked up the bird call, mimicking it exactly. They have been communicating for the past half hour.

“I asked what he was saying to the bird and he said he was telling it that he’s not of his species, but not to be scared and just keep on talking back. And they keep going at it.”

Carson, the Quail Whisperer, is a student at Atlas Elementary in Hayden. The Slice predicts big things for him.

On a related note, do you remember when Barney Fife imagined that he understood birdspeak?

The legend becomes reality: “We have lived here in Spokane for seven years and I have read over and over your articles about marmots,” wrote Pam Waddell. “I honestly thought they were fables, like going to the submarine races or snipe hunting back when we were kids.

“Saturday I saw my first marmot, actually two of them, down by the river near the Red Lion.

“One of them was really frightening. It kept charging at us. But luckily we were on the other side of a stone wall. They don’t climb over stone walls, do they?”

Not unless they suspect you are a real estate developer.

Street names as destiny: Al and Jole Birdsell live on Spotted Road and have appaloosa horses.

Special delivery: Barbara Baldwin had a thought re: relocating beneficial insects.

“Take an envelope, niftily coax the bug to walk inside, and gently (not squishing) carry the envelope to a safe place.”

Today’s Slice question: Has the slug population at your place reached horror-movie proportions?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Check out The Slice Blog at All campaign signs do is remind you of what you already knew about your neighbors.

Tags: The Slice

There is one comment on this story »