No one told him

This morning, as I was shampooing my hair, a memory I didn’t know I had beaned me. Some 30 years ago, my then-husband built a small wood bird feeder and secured it right outside our kitchen window. The birds would come so close that you could reach out to touch them, but for the shut window. 

One dreary day, I was standing in front of  the window and washing the dishes when I noticed a neonic parakeet amidst the squawking chaos of gray and brown and black. As a child, I had had a love affair with these fragile tropical birds, so I was especially moved by this tableau and thought I should do something to save one that had so obviously lost his way. Without my help, I was certain he would not survive another day of thick fog coming in off the San Francisco Bay.

With as much stealth as I could summon, I opened the window slowly slowly slowly and tried to grab the budgie, but he and the rest of the birds beat it and flew to the roof of a dilapidated garage that stood at the end of our driveway, where they lit. I was sure he was a goner, and I was so sad. If only I had been sneakier, I thought.

Several months later, I was washing yet another sink of dirty dishes, and I just happened to glance over at the garage. There, on the roof, I saw a row of gray brown brown black gray brown green and yellow gray brown black brown gray and so on.

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4 comments

  1. My grandmother had one of these chirpy creatures when I was a child – one day, when we sat down to Sunday lunch, the parakeet dive bombed straight into our hot dish of goulash. My gran managed to grab him, rushed to the kitchen sink and held him under running water to wash off the steaming hot sauce. He survived against the odds – and never dared to bother us at the kitchen table again!

    Thanks for sharing your lovely bird-story with us.

    1. What a story! After that, I’ll bet you never looked at a parakeet the same way again. My aunt had one named “Elvis.” He seemed more human than bird. He would eat breakfast with everyone. It wasn’t unusual to find him on my aunt’s plate sharing her fried eggs. Leslie

      1. How lovely! Now that’s an Elvis much more to my liking – my mother was obsessed with the two legged, human specimen and I’ve never liked him…I hope your aunt’s parakeet didn’t say “thank you very much” in an Elvis voice, every time he got breakfast! Maria

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