Edme, Edme!

Screenshot 2017-04-15 19.39.18

In the first volume of his natural history of the birds, Buffon tells a funny story:

While I was sleeping one night in one of the old towers of the chateau of Montbard, a little before daybreak, at three in the morning, a little owl landed on the windowsill of my room, and woke me up with its call “heme, edme.” As I listened to this voice, which struck me as the more interesting given that it was so near, I heard one of my servants, who was sleeping in the room below mine, open the window, and deceived by the owl’s clearly articulated “edme,” he answered the bird: Who is down there, my name isn’t Edme, my name is Pierre! This servant actually believed that it was a person calling out, so similar is the voice of the owl to the voice of the human, and so distinctly does it say the word.


One more reason — as if one were needed — to look forward to our next Birds and Art tour of Burgundy.