It has to be one of the best sounds in the world. I’m referring to the singing of birds.
The rearing of songbirds has traditionally been a well-loved pastime in Singapore and Malaysia. Enthusiasts spend hours training the birds to sing a tune, and pampering the adored creatures with special food and tricks to make them better crooners.
The mynah or burung tiong is particularly treasured for its singing ability. In my kampung or childhood home, we had a mynah named Gincu, the Malay word for lipstick. It was trained to sing, speak and do a little jig. Whenever it noticed a passer-by, it would say in its wonderfully clear voice “Gincu tabik tuan” which means “Gincu salutes you, sir”.
Today, personally, I’m not comfortable with the idea of birds being caged. But I still love the chirping and singing of birds. In spring, when the day is sunny, different birds come to my backyard and the surrounding ones with their own little melodies.
To me, that’s the beauty and highlight of spring.