Snakes in the grass and Short-toed Eagles

Of toes and eagles

An excerpt from the book “Flying over the Pyrenees, standing on the plains”

And what did the English come up with? Puffed with pride as possessors of a language with the richest vocabulary in the world, unrestrained by the anachronistic dictates of a fogy old Royal Language Academy, doted with the flexibility and hybrid vigour resulting from close contact with hundreds of different cultures, they produced … wait for it … Short-toed Eagle. How inspired! What an incredibly poetic, evocative name! Images of a stately pale bird sailing effortlessly over the mountain tops jump to my mind every time I pick up the nail-clippers.

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