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Book 1, Chapter 17 Notes from The Once and Future King

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The Once and Future King Book 1, Chapter 17

Merlyn decides Arthur needs more education, and sends him out with Archimedes the owl to learn more about birds. Arthur says he likes rooks best of all birds, because they have fun flying, and because they are brave fighters. Archimedes tells him that his favorite bird (not to eat, but simply in terms of their habits) is the pigeon-a bird that is not aggressive, but knows how to avoid all kinds of danger. Merlyn says his favorite bird is the chaffinch, because the males and females separate in the winter, which makes each flock peaceful. Merlyn explains his theory about how birds first learned their songs (they imitated their prey, or the noise of the wind, and then varied it) and Archimedes gets offended. They talk about all the different songs the birds sing and where they came from (owls hoot because of the wind in the trees) and then Kay comes in, late for his geography lesson, and tells them proudly he has killed a small bird.

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