In a discussion of clinical personnel, one could scarcely forget to mention Dumb Dumb. Dumb Dumb would not permit it. He is sitting on my desk beside my typewriter, carefully watching my moving fingers, which are the closest thing he knows to a parental beak. Every time a fly or a leaf-hopper comes in through the window, I stop long enough to catch it and drop it into Dumb Dumb’s gaping mouth; whereupon he thanks me by peeping monotonously at two second intervals, rather than one second intervals, which is his pattern when asking for food and attention.
Dumb Dumb is an immature Blue Mockingbird who holds good prospects for one day becoming a beautiful blue and grey songster. But for the present, he is just a ragged black peepster. He was sent to me by a little girl in Jocuixtita as a downy, hungry fledgling, and has since grown to nearly full size. He has already learned to fly, if clumsily, a fact in which he takes great pride. Dumb Dumb follows me everywhere at El Zopilote, upstairs and down. When I consult with a patient, he often perches on my shoe, waiting for me to lift up my foot so that he can hop on to my hand. When I feed the poultry at dawn, Dumb Dumb pecks on the ground along with the chickens, snapping up weevils between the grains of corn.
Dumb Dumb is a delight to all who come to the clinic, and when men patients help out by chopping firewood and women patients by sweeping and carrying water, I give the children a butterfly net and send them to the fields to catch grasshoppers for Dumb Dumb. “One grasshopper for every pill,” I tell them jokingly.