This morning at the breakfast table I was perusing my library copy of Bright Wings. It's an illustrated anthology of poems about birds, edited by Billy Collins, with paintings done by David Allen Sibley (described as "America's foremost bird illustrator.") I haven't known Sibley's work before, but the paintings are beautiful, and I found myself making little admiring sounds as I turned the pages.
At one point I murmured "oh, lovely..." and the sweet girl, finishing her bagel, perked up.
"What's lovely?" she asked.
"This pelican," I said, holding the book out so she could see the picture.
She cocked her head. "Is that painted by Audubon?" she asked.
"No," I said. "By someone else, someone painting today. It does remind you a bit of Audubon though, doesn't it?"
She nodded. "I think," she declared, "if Audubon was still alive, he might say: COPYCAT!" And then added, as though she wanted to be completely fair, "And then this guy could say -- excuse me, but that's my job."