How could I forget! The greatest lesson of my travel to the little northern town! Or one of them, anyway.
I also stopped in Pisanolok, a mid-sized city about which the less said the better. BUT, I was taken to a place that had, hidden away off the street, unheralded, unsigned, you had to know it was there to find it, even then it would not be easy, a WILD BIRD PARK is what they called it. It was a coincidence; the place was a foundry for bells, gongs and brass Buddha’s, whoever ran it liked birds is my guess. It was about 3,000 square feet of cages connected by paths, with good signage in Thai and English, with full Latin zoological information, and some really, really amazing birds. NOT THE LEAST OF WHICH WAS THE NOK GAO WOW!!!!!!
Technically, it’s a “Common Koel.” Yeah, “Common,” like King Kong is a “Common” monster. Let others be taken with the huge Tucans, the various enormous billed miscellany of bird-dom, with cages labeled, “Stand Back! This Thing is Dangerous!” And I believe it too, some of those things had “bills” that could cut a tram-wire easy. But some of you remember that I have been fascinated with the sound of the Gao Wow since the first day I woke up in Thailand.
I’ll whistle it for you sometime, or add it as a link when I grow up and figure this shit out.
I asked someone long ago, “I like that sound, what kind of bird is that? It sounds big and strong.” They said, “no, it is small.” It’s the Gao Wow bird, like “flip-flops” are “flip-flops” because they go “flip, flop.” No one could tell me what it looked like.
Small bird my ass. If this thing was after you, you’d shit a brick. It’s as big as a California Raven, with a huge, fanning tail, the talons of a hawk, and an evil looking beak, with a serious, bad-ass look in its eye, all Leopard spotted all over and anxious, anxious to kill something, like a cat, or a small dog, like let me out of this cage, M.F., I’ll teach you to gawk at birds.
I’ll whistle it for you some time. When I whistle it in my Los Angeles back-yard all the birds look around like they were terrified all of a sudden, and they’ve never even seen or heard a Gao Wow. This bird is bad.