The Kurundu Bird

Oh, my dears. It’s been a long week. And it is Friday night. The sky is dark, the moon is traveling past the stars, and much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

The Kurundu Bird is an elusive and secretive bird. It lives along the coasts of Sri Lanka amongst the cinnamon fields. In the 1500’s, people would grow cinnamon plants specifically to attract Kurundu Birds; not just because their warbles sound like falling rain, but also because every time they beat their soft, suede-like wings they give off a scent like burnt cinnamon.

Late at night their warbles mimic rain through the trees, and a Kurundu Bird near your house is considered a good omen, for rain is good for crops and the smell of cinnamon is said to engender good dreams.

During the power struggles between the British and the native Sri Lankan people in the 1800s, the Kurundu Birds all but disappeared, and the devastating destruction of the coffee plantations by a leaf disease were blamed on the absence of the birds. When the British developed the tea plantations, however, a soft scent of cinnamon would sometimes waft across the fields. Common thought was that the birds preferred the tea plants to the coffee plants, and the years of relative civil harmony that followed.

Kurundu Birds are secretive indeed, and many believe they are the stuff of legends alone. But on a soft warm night along the coast of Sri Lanka you most certainly will smell burnt cinnamon on the wind. Tip your nose to the trees and close your eyes. Imagine the rain falling gently on your face. If you hear the sounds of drops, then the Kurundu are singing to you.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

Posted by Odd Luminary. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply