"Here and now: boys," the bird repeated yet once more, then fluttered down from its perch on the dead tree and settled on her shoulder. The child peeled another banana, gave two-thirds of it to Will and offered what remained to the mynah.
"Is that your bird?" Will asked.
She shook her head.
"Mynahs are like the electric light," she said. "They don't belong to anybody."
"Why does he say those things?"
"Because somebody taught him," she answered patiently. What an ass! her tone seemed to imply.
"But why did they teach him those things? Why 'Attention?' Why 'Here and now'?"
"Well . . . " She searched for the right words in which to explain the self-evident to this strange imbecile. "That's what you always forget, isn't it? I mean, you forget to pay attention to what's happening. And that's the same as not being here and now."
"And the mynahs fly about reminding you - is that it?"
She nodded. That, of course, was it. There was a silence.
(excerpt from chapter 2 of Island by Aldous Huxley)
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