Birds, Hands and Bushes

Racket had gotten out of his cage. Nothing unusual about that, except that usually when I let him loose, I’d make sure to put away anything I cared about to avoid having Racket destroy it. It was  futile but I felt obliged to try.

Racket, as his name implied, was a charming, noisy Sulpher-Crested Cockatoo. He was the perfect example of why cockatoo owners invented stainless steel perches. Racket could reduce anything made of hardwood to splinters in seconds. He had gone to work on the sofa not long ago … not the upholstery. I think the upholstery wasn’t a sufficient challenge for him. He had gone all out to redo the carved wood frame, perhaps with the intent of correcting the original artist’s errors.

The arm of the sofa nearest his cage was a pile of wood chips and splinters. No evidence of the original design remained. Having completed his work on the sofa, he had refocused his efforts towards acquiring wisdom. He began ingesting the Encyclopedia Britannica, one volume at a time. At this time, he was about half-way through the project. I could see that he’d had a busy morning and had consumed two more volumes.

There wasn’t much I could do about it. I had no where else to put the books. The flat was tiny and there was no storage space. Racket couldn’t spend all his time in a cage. Parrots need freedom, at least an hour or two a day. They are smart birds. They need to interact with the world, with us, to explore and have fun. Racket was doing what Cockatoos do for fun: tearing apart everything on which he could lay his beak.

I wasn’t sure who’d let him out that morning. Probably one of the kids. But he couldn’t stay out all day. I had to go to work and no sane parrot owner would leave their bird loose, unsupervised with no one at home. Or at least no one sane would leave this parrot unsupervised.

Sulfur Crested Cockatoo playing

Cockatoo photo by Miguel

I shuddered at the thought of how much damage he could do given an entire day to wreak havoc. It was time to put him back into his house.

“Come on, sweetie,” I cooed. “Time to go home. Mommy’s got to go to work.”

“CAWWWWWWW! SQUAWK!! ACK-ACK-ACK!” (No M’am, I have other plans) he said. Ah those melodious tones.

He was a tame bird, bad habits notwithstanding and would stand on my hand, nibble on my ears. So far he hadn’t taken it into his head to remove my ears, though he had tried to rip an earring out.  But tame and obedient are in no way synonymous. He knew I wanted him back in his cage and he clearly didn’t want to go there. I needed a proper bribe or he could easily elude me for hours.

“Come along, baby,” I continued, sotto voce. “Mommy needs to get going and we don’t have all day to hunt wild birdies.”

I offered him my arm and teased him with a piece of watermelon in my other hand. He was ever so fond of fruit. Finally, after trying his birdy best to get the fruit without having to climb up on the arm, he gave in and climbed aboard. Quick as a wink, he was back in his cage, a squishy piece of red fruit dangling from his beak.

I pondered how much worse this would have been if I not have been able to get him in hand and instead, had been left with two just like him safely hidden in a bush. It boggled my mind.


Categories: Animals, Humor, Pets

Tags: , , , , , ,

10 replies

  1. Well, you have changed it AGAIN! I get use to one layout and POOF! it is gone…will you please make up your mind or I am going to tell a little ‘birdie’ to … um-m-m-m? Use your imagination! hahahahaha Just kidding! Hope you smiled 🙂 Not too much of that here today, hopefully tomorrow will be a better day! HUGS!


    • It’s the same as the last few days. I just change the header picture. Everything else is identical, but I like being able to change the header picture. It’s one of the things I like in a template. It gives me some extra display space for big pictures.

      I sense things aren’t going too well. You sound sad. I miss you. I am worried about you and yours. I wish I lived closer. And I really wish life would stop being so very hard. Many many hugs.


      • It is hard, so very hard to see Jim going down, down, down! Each day I hope for a better day for him but it just doesn’t happen very often. I had to call a plumber in today for some work on our water heater. He is wonderful…like a son. He has offered to come in and sit with Jim so I can take care of some shopping. Just normal stuff like Walmart. The inconvenience is that I have to travel out of town. Nothing much here. Just basics.

        I visited my girlfriend from high school yesterday but it was only a short visit. She is shut-in like me with her husband. She was working in her yard and told him NOT to move until she came back inside. [We laughed about the comment because that was EXACTLY what I told Jim when I left the house. Usually I only leave on the days when the visiting nurses are here.] Well, SHE fell and hit the concrete walk with her head. Took a few minutes for her to gather her composure and who knows how long to get her husband to hear her. Getting old is just NO fun at all!

        Had to cancel Jim’s dental appt for the third time. He just could not make it this morning. Couldn’t even finish his shower because of shortness of breath. Got appt Friday in Dothan AL and two next week but there is no way of knowing until the morning of the appts if he can even make it or not.

        I’m hanging in there! Thanks for staying in touch. I teased you about the site just for laughs. 🙂 Love the picture! BTW Do you Skype? HUGS!


        • I can’t even begin to tell you how bad I feell for you and of course for Jim. The fragility of our lives is terrifying. I look at my husband and I get frightened. Half (literallly) of our friends have spouses who are in a very bad way … and some of them are much younger than we are. There’s nothing to be done. I don’t believe in siilver linings. I wasn’t just saying that.

          Silver linings are things we make up to make ourselves somehow feel better about things that feel really bad. Everything passes and what doesn’t kill us teaches us that we can survive more than we think we can. I don’t know that it’s the same as being made stronger. Maybe just durable. Like that hollow tree I photographed that’s somehow still putting out leaves against all odds. We keep on keeping on because that’s what we need to do.

          I wax philosophical because I don’t know what else to do. No idea how to feel, where to put the feelings that this stuff stirs up.

          My heart really is with you. There’s so much bad stuff happening that sometimes I feel … and I’m sure you know exactly what I mean … like it’s all closing in. I5’s fear talking.

          Is there any likelihood of some kind of treatment that will help Jim be in a better place, to at least have a better quality of life?

          I’ve been procrastinating on so many things, one of which is putting together a package for you. I don’t even know WHY I’m procrastinating. I have been avoiding life. I don’t like much of anything that’s going on, so I’m living in books and movies and staying close to home.

          The golden years, eh?

          I tried Skype. I saw what I looked like and totally freaked out. Never tried it again.




  2. Too cute. Loved this story, even without the punch line. Nice slice of life indeed. Thanks! Hugs, Tasha


  3. Clearly the German Shorthair Pointer of the Bird World…


    • Clearly. Loki (mine) housebroke himeself. He was very strong. When he needed to go out, he got tired of waiting and went through the door. The hinges were never the same.


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