A Parakeet Story
When I got Pierre, I didn’t want to keep him. I wanted a different kind of pet. Not Pierre.
I wanted a puppy who could run and catch. Maybe a kitten who would purr and chase balls of yarn. A fluffy, floppy eared rabbit named Thumper who I could cuddle up with each night. Not Pierre.
All Pierre does is sit in his cage, flutter his wings, makes a mess with his bird seeds, and squawks and squawks and squawks.
“I’ve had enough of this, Pierre,” I decided. “Your squawking is too much!” Pierre doesn’t chirp. Not even a flick of a feather. What am I going to do with a bird? I can’t take you anywhere. You’re not a pet. You’re a caged creature.
When I tried to take Pierre out of his cage. He fluttered into a corner. Then another corner. He wouldn’t get on my finger. I practiced and practiced. Finally, he began to climb onto my finger. Slowly moving him toward the opening. He would fly off. Arg! Forget, and I stomped off.
The following day, his tiny claws clutched to the side of his cage. He squawked and screeched as I walked into the house as if he was asking for another chance. I dropped my school bags and walked over to his cage. I put my finger into the cage. Held my breathe. He climbed on. His tiny nails dug into my fletch as I slid him through the door. He’s out! He stretched his wings. He flapped his wings holding on tight. Then he relaxed his grip and flew around the house. I panicked. The chase was on. His wings were clipped when I first got him. To my surprise he grew new feathers. I always worried what would happen if he was in a situation where he needed to fly away from danger and couldn’t. The risk of harm was greater than the risk of him flying away. So, I knew I had to build a relationship based on trust.
Does any of my friends want to see what Pierre is up to? Does any of my friends care that I have a parakeet? Does any of my friends want to see his cool bamboo cage? No. They’re all into other things that doesn’t involve a bird. “Pierre, what am I going to do?” I muttered. You’re just a bird.
The following afternoon, he hears me coming into the house. Before I come around the corner, he’s flying right toward me. If birds could smile, I’d swear he was smiling. He flew straight to me. Clumsily, he flies right into my chest digging his tiny claws in and climbs up to my shoulder. He nestles in next to my ear hiding himself within my hair. “How did you get out?” I asked. I looked at his cage. The door was closed. Hmm!
He settled in. Gripping tightly. His new found freedom was exhilarating. He wiggled as far back as he could go. Silly boy wasn’t going back into his cage anytime soon. Once he relaxed, my earlobe became his toy. Earrings were not possible to wear with him. He loved the dangling ones. He would nibble and I would giggle. Slowly, a bond was building.
Each day, he would come flying around the corner as I entered the door. I finally figured out how he was getting out. He worked all day wiggling loose the bamboo sticks. One by one he’d slide them up and squeeze out. With each exit they would slide back into place. He would always find me. I was his destination. He loved life on my shoulder. Never a worry that he’d fly away. My hair was his safety net when he would get scared.
I grew to love my pet, my Pierre La Poo Poo. Yes, he always left a trail of poo poo down my shoulder. That’s why he got a last name. One day, we were out of food. He as starving. My mom was gone. I didn’t know what to do. All I could think of was that silly saying, ‘Polly wants a cracker.’ I thought I could feed him crackers. I had no idea that the salt would kill him. It took hours for it to take his life. He died in my hands. I cradled him the best I could. If only he used his gift of flight to fly away from me, he might have been saved. He didn’t.
I built a relationship on trust and I let him down. It was and still is one of the hardest thing I had to get over. I will always love my beloved pet, my Pierre La Poo Poo.