I prefer my bird tongues poached medium.
I pushed my face up against the rifle's stock, squeezed one eye closed, and held my breath. The giraffe was over a hundred yards out -- no easy shot. I felt the throb of my heartbeat rock the sight gently back and forth as I held the dusty African air in my lungs. One more roll, and…The giraffe fell, its large, gray-black tongue lolling to the side.
I'm Antonin Black, tongue poacher. I've hunted big-game tongues on the savannah, ripped tongues out of Antarctic penguins as they swam by me, and filled the trophy rooms of the world's richest tongue collectors. But there's one tongue that has forever eluded me: The Northern Mockingbird.
This shifty songbird's Latin name is Mimus polyglottos, which means "many-tongued mimic." How many tongues does it have? I don't know. Nobody knows. But I intend to hunt her down, pry open her beak, and --
I'm sorry, what? The name is a symbolic reference to its renowned ability to mimic other bird songs? Drat. Ah, what the heck, I still want to shoot one.