I know, I know. One look at this little guy and you think: Yum. I want to drown that tiny songbird in armagnac, roast it, and eat it in one bite. Right? Well, if not, you must not be French. Okay, okay, not all French people eat ortolan, and plenty of people around the world do horribly gross things to all kinds of critters. I am not targeting the French.
It's just, it's weird when I see a casual news reference to something that educated, wealthy people do for fun that is the kind of thing a gross devil or imp character might do in one of my books. Really! If you haven't heard the news, France is having to crack down on illegal hunting of the protected songbird, the ortolan, because people are eating too many of them, in the method described above. But it gets weirder. Tradition for eating ortolan dictates the diner shroud his head with a napkin and eat the bird with his face hidden. Shroud the head. And, apparently, they taste kind of like hazelnuts. Dare I ask why not just eat hazelnuts? Or is it too fun to eat a species to extinction? Where can I get a good snow leopard steak? Anyone know?
Ah, sorry. Sometimes I just can't believe it. Us. We're such a creepy species. Seriously, there's a villain in Silksinger that might do this, and in the context of a book in which devils do gross and terrible things, it would still seem really gross!
In other random bits of learning, I just discovered a very cool place name: Kekexili. Isn't that awesome? I love exotic place names. This happens to be one of the wildest regions on Earth -- a remote part of the Tibetan Plateau that is the third-least populated place in the world, after Antarctica and Greenland.
And this: tarantulas can live up to 30 years!!!
P.S. The plea still stands, to post an Amazon review for Blackbringer. Thank you!