I have been known to grouse. I whine, I complain. And I know about grouse, those birds whose plural, as with mouse or louse, ought to be “grice” in my book. But I admit that today was the first time I encountered Hazel Grouse, the common name for Tetrastes bonasia or bonasa bonasia, depending on whom you choose to ask. Being a writer, I choose to use Hazel Grouse. What a perfect name for a fussy character! Like the real bird, she’d be shy and mostly a vegetarian. And she would be found in abundance in the Northern Hemisphere. Rather than calling ti-ti-ti or teh-teh-teh, however, she’d say tut-tut-tut. She would dress in black, browns, and grays, with a white accent, and she’d be apt to cast a disapproving eye. Oh, Hazel, where’s your holiday spirit? I promise I won’t serve you for dinner.

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