Friday, July 10, 2009
I'm a darn good whistler. My brother taught me how when I was five. Having some natural talent for whistling, I practised incessantly and improved my technique with a nice vibrato effect learned from an uncle. But my whistling upset my Grandma, who was very much a product of the Victorian age in which she had been raised. According to her world view, whistling was simply not ladylike. Only boys should whistle. Girls should be quiet and decorous. Every time she heard me whistling, she would recite the following dire little ditty --
Whistling girls and crowing hens:
Both shall come to no good ends!
I heard that poem a lot when I was growing up. A LOT.
My Grandma was born on July 13, 1888. This year would be her 121st birthday, if she were still around. So on Monday, I'll whistle "Happy Birthday" in her honour. And I know what her response will be, wherever she is.