So what are you?

“First bird gets the first worm. So what are you? The bird or the worm?”

Yesterday I met an intriguing lady. she came to my house bearing a proposal for my parents to open a reading house for orphans somewhere in Central Java. It was an interesting proposition, high moral and goodness and all those jazz. But the thing that tugs (or bother) the heart is how she present the idea to us.

If I have to explain her in one word, it will be Domineering.

She controls the flow of conversation and left no room for rebuttals. She always have an answer for every question and held fast to whatever she said. She stated her objective over and over and over until it gets boring and successfully ingrain into our brain. She sits, talks, watches and observe like she own the spaces where she was, and that’s exactly under the roof of a building I called my home.

I was offended, it felt like she was attacking and striking discreetly while trying to lobby and plot for her own goodness.

I have to admit that she’s very smart and very un-lacking in the intelligence department. It’s in the way she talks and left small snippets of information about her past. So, she could speak in Dutch, she reads in Germany, her English is top notch, her Mom used to have a catering company, her Dad work in a shipyard, she used to read mechanical books since she’s small, she played piano since 3, she loves cooking Japanese, Western and Italian food, she used to bake and sell enough cookies to support her trip to Bali, so..?
It’s almost hilarious at the way she revealed her impressive background, as if it was a part of something extremely trivial and general.

But as impressive and master in cooking she is, she crossed the line when she criticised Mom’s cooking.

Call me a stingy, but I don’t like it when somebody said Mom’s cooking is not up to their standard, or keep on criticising and asking and debating the recipe. It’s quite rude and I had these temptation to give her ‘the look’.

She’s such a perfectionist and a critique.

By the time she was about to get going, we joked around and the phrase went out of my Mom’s mouth,

First bird gets the first worm. The bird gets the first kill, and the worm….(gets killed first) So what are you? The bird or the worm?”

By that time, I was convinced that she’ll answer the bird, but she shocked me.


So what is it with the bird and the worm? Being a bird means you’re the striker, the positive one who searched and grasped for every opportunity to kill the worm. I assumed that with her domineering persona, she’s definetly a bird. A vicious striking bird who delved fast into the earth and snatched the fattest worm. She’s the falcon, with her peering eyes and strong claws and she spread terror and domination to the worms down there.

She won’t be a worm, not in a million years. She’s not the type to sit down nicely and wait until something snatched, lifted and gobbled you up in a second.

But she’s neither. She refused to ‘kill’, to strike first and get the first dips. She’s a shady business consultant with a mission to create a library for the poor. She’s ‘neither‘, and it bugs me out of my mind. So she’s a high morale but eager for perfection and criticise everything?

Everything I’ve conjured in my mind about her were jumbled. Even if this is a stupid proverb, it still speaks loud for her character.

So what? She doesn’t want to be a bird nor a worm. She doesn’t want to be in the picture of kill and be killed. After awhile, I realize what she is in the proverb. She’s the human. The all encompassing, controlling and observing between the two animals. She’s the human with a shovel and gun, ready to bring down the piercing eagle and dig out the shy worm. She’s not the culprit nor the victim, she’s the one who controlled them all.

She’s the human, the domineering and controlling one. But the way she answered and even her choice to reply surprised me. The most logical answer will be that she’s a conflicted individual. Somewhere between here and there, and to kill or to save. She’s just sooo changeable.
So the question is, what are you?

    Found any comments from Jim Moriarty – Sherlock (2010)? Kudos to those who does..

2 thoughts on “So what are you?

  1. Because the bird does not know the speaker is present, he behaves naturally, that is, his behavior is not affected by her presence. We see the bird’s “wildness” or non-humanness in his biting the worm in half and eating it. “Raw” continues to emphasize his wildness. Ironically the word “raw” carries an implication of civilized values and practices (“raw” implicitly contrasts with cooked food). Why mention that the bird ate the worm raw? Would you expect the bird to cook the worm? In contrast, the fact that the bird “came” down the walk sounds civilized, socialized. Does this description sound like someone walking on a sidewalk?

    1. Funny since I’ve never mentioned eating anything ‘raw’ in this post. Or perhaps I missed what you’re trying to point out..

      What I meant is, there’s always one who sit down primly and wait for things to happen (Worm), and there’s also the one who strikes mercilessly (Bird). Yet there’s always the super power who observe things, make notes of them and may decide what happens (Human).

      Yes, birds eat their worm raw uncooked and straight to their belly. That’s their nature and that’s also why the overruled the worms.
      The Lady I’m talking about is ruthless and shady business woman, I presume she will be the bird, yet she claim to be none in the equation. It baffles me, and then I realize that with her sort-of submissive claim but aggressive approach, she’s a dilemma, a paradox, and the only explanation that fit her in the bird-worm equation is none. That’s why she became the human. Who has all the denying traits.

      hmm? Please feel free to rebut my statement, constructive criticism is always super appreciated 🙂

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