Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Saga of the Bird

"The TIME has come" the walrus said "to talk of many things. Of shoes and ships and ceiling wax: of Cabbages and Kings" - Lewis Carroll

And here the time has come to speak of the saga of the bird. So fix yourself a cup of tea and a plate of cookies and settle's story time.

Once upon a time in a land full of feathers and dreams there lived a family of 5. Well, 5 humans at least. A mother human, a father human, an eldest son, a middle daughter, and a toddler boy. This family also included 5 pets: The eldest cat, the boy cat, the boy cat's girl friend, the kitchen cat, and the dog. The family was complete and happy to be so. At least, they THOUGHT they were complete.

One day the family was preparing for a friend to visit and share a meal with them. The elder children were out playing and staying out of the way while the mother and father prepared dinner and the toddler played "get underfoot". It was 5:45 in the evening and the friend was due to arrive around 6/6:30pm...dinner was cooking and there were only a few preparations left to be made. Plenty of time to finish without being rushed.
Suddenly the voice of the girl child was heard through the open window as she and the boy made their way home: "mumble mumble BIRD...mumble KEEP IT mumble".

The mother immediately thought to herself "Oh PLEASE, by all that is sacred in the world - NOT A BABY CHICKEN".

{Now to understand the urgency of the mother's fervor'd plea it is necessary to be aquainted with a few salient facts:

Firstly - that chickens are wild on this Rock in the Sea, in fact the neighbors boy had recently adopted 2 wild baby chicks...and chickens (and roosters) are loud!

Secondly - the dog (due to an unfortunate 'pecking incidence' in his youth) had an unreasoning hatred of all things chicken...unless cooked}

Well, her supplication was answered. It was not a baby chicken.

Oh no...not a chicken.

It was one of these:

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A Japanese White eye...only a little bit bigger than a large egg.


So the mother and father made the bird a safe place within the cat carrier using a towel and gave the bird water and melon and crackers to tempt it. All through dinner the toddler HAD to go and see the bird. The young boy was enthralled and kept signing "bird bird bird" to anyone who would listen. Every 5 minutes he went to see the bird: "bird bird bird". Well the bird eventually settled in and looked like it was sleeping. So the mother told the young child "Shhhh, we must be quiet. The bird is trying to sleep" So the young boy then signed "Shhhhh, bird sleep". Over and over he would ask for someones hand so he could lead them to where the bird was and tell them "Shhhhhh, bird sleep".

And so the evening drew to a close. The friend left, the daughter and toddler fell into slumber and the eldest boy was reading in his room as the father and mother worked on ending their day. But all was not ok in this house of feathers and dreams...the father came to the mother with unsettling news "I think the bird died" he said to she came to look and sure enough the small bundle of feathers had breathed it's last and moved on.

What to do?

In the morning the mother spoke to the daughter and told her of the passing of the feathered spirit. "My daughter" she said "do not grieve to deeply; this beautiful bird knew that it's time to move on had come...and it came to you. It trusted you to give it a safe and comfortable place for it's body to rest while it's spirit moved on. That is a very sacred and special trust to receive from a wild animal. Be honored that you were chosen and do not be ashamed of your tears, for they are natural and right. We will allow you to choose a special plant and we will bury the bird..." "Her name is Cutie" said the daughter. "We will bury Cutie and put a plant over her so you can always see her in the growth of your plant" said the mother. "We will do it this afternoon when you come home from school."

So the children left for school and the mother and father sat and thought. They thought of how cute the young toddler had looked when he signed bird...they thought of how much the young girl had liked the bird...they thought of the inevitable "Can we get a bird" that was bound to issue from the childrens mouths...and they decided to go look and see if getting a bird would be a feasable thing to do.

Now I am sure, dear reader, that you KNOW what happened next...

They came home with THIS:
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and the children were pleased.

Then they buried Cutie under a beautiful crotan right in the front of the house.

They are now a family of 5 humans and 6 pets and they are working on making the budgie feel welcome. The mother is hand training it. The children talk to it. The toddler coo's and babbles at it right before trying to hug the entire cage.

And the father, you ask? He is trying to convince the dog that the bird will not replace him and convince the cats that the bird is NOT a 'box-lunch'.

And so the saga of the bird comes to a close. In the land of dreams a new feather has come to roost and sing.

and all of this is true...

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