Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My friend Pickles

My wife, Sandy, just had to have another parrot for her birthday. She missed her Amazon named Albert, whom we retired to an aviary at a old folk's home because he was the meanest, baddest, nastiest bird on the planet.

I would come home tired after a long day's work to the happy screeching of Albert. He seemed so glad to see me, but that was just a ploy to get Mommy to open the cage door. I would go upstairs to undress for a shower. While I was undressing, Albert would slowly, but methodically climb up the stairs. He would be silent in his stealthy approach, always catching me unaware.

He would then run in a crouched position for my bare feet just like a vulture to the kill. I would jump up on the bed yelling for my wife to get her damned bird as he started climbing the bedspread slowly, beak and claws, toward my unprotected feet. It was right out of a Hitchcock movie!

Finally, our son went to give Albert a kiss and ended up with Albert hanging off his lip like a large piercing, with wings flapping and beady eyes alight with the joy of the bloody lip kill. Good-by Albert, have a nice life at the aviary!

You can understand why I was reluctant to spend hundreds of dollars for another killer in bright feathers. That was just a passing thought as we jumped in the truck and headed for a pet store. After all, it was her birthday.

Inside the store, we found a small, green, blue and yellow Meyer's parrot who seemed so very friendly toward my wife, but only casual toward me. What else was new? In any case, how much damage could this little fellow do? It turns out, a lot, but not to me.

We bonded, and to this day we take showers together while talking and seeing who can imitate whistles the best. He tolerates my wife, but no one else will take the chance of a bleeding finger or lip. Our daughter calls poor Pickles an evil bird, but that is just not true. He is the most loving creature I know. Of course, my tune would be different had he bonded to my wife like he was supposed to. I have found it is not the size of a parrot that counts. It's the sharpness of their beak!

I'm just saying,


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