Thursday, July 21, 2011
How could I ever guess that Pickles, the little Meyer’s parrot I bought my wife for her birthday eight years ago, would bond to me and become my little buddy? I am writing this blog not only because he is the most intelligent bird I have ever known, but also because yesterday I threatened to send him to an old folk’s home aviary just like his predecessor because he wouldn’t stop screeching while I was on the phone. I must now make up for threatening my friend with a life of trying to bite the fingers of elderly people attempting to pet him at the assisted living home.
His predecessor, Albert, is an Amazon parrot determined to decapitate finger, toes, lower lips and any other part of the human anatomy he could get inside his rather large and intimidating beak. We finally had to leave him at an aviary out of self preservation and threats of lawsuits.
I would come home from work and go upstairs to take a shower. While undressing, Albert would start his journey from his perch downstairs, slowly ascending the stairs one riser at a time with beak and claws steady and sure. He would silently waddle across the bedroom floor toward the bed, anticipating his climb up the bedspread and then toward my naked toes as I stood on the bed yelling for my wife to come get this damn bird!
Albert managed to bite through our son’s lower lip one fine day and that was the straw that sent him to his new home. We haven’t heard a word about him in over eleven years, and if we did sometime in the next eleven years, that would be too soon.
Now, back to Pickles – he knows I threatened him and the payback could come any minute. Sometimes he gets a feather up his tutu and won’t sing, whistle or talk to me for a while. During that time I avoid swapping spit with him or trying to scratch his neck. Even getting him on my finger is not without risk. The thing with Pickles is that a bite from his little beak will not be life-threatening unlike when Albert decided on having you for a dinner snack.
Wifey knows I don’t mean it when I threaten to get rid of Pickles. My little friend hasn’t drawn blood from me for a couple years now. He just butts me with his beak and doesn’t break the skin. Of course when it happens, I go into cardiac arrest.
I know how to make up with Pickles; I just let him hump my finger after our shower together. When I put my finger up to the shower door to take him back to his cage, he starts doing the horny dog thing and I am subjected to not a little disgust and embarrassment. “Good grief, Pickles, get a life!” He looks at me and seems to say, “I would if you would get me a woman bird, asshole!” Touché, little one, touché….
I’m just saying,