The Big C

A journey through Stage Four Cancer

The Carnivorous Parakeet

on June 25, 2011

        As you may or  may not have noticed, I am blogging backwards.  A whole lot of things happened from when I lost my hair in February until now, but I didn’t get a chance to blog about it.  So without further ado, I will start to blog about the “Blue Bird of Happiness” that came to be known as “The Carnivorous Parakeet.”

 My birthday is in the beginning of spring, and the beginning of spring wasn’t all that promising this year.  Snow continued to fall and collect.  The weather was cold and damp and the world was an unpleasant shade of brown.

And every living thing seemed to have left my yard; no raucous crows, no bothersome squirrels, nothing.

“Ah.”  I would say to my saintly husband.  “I miss the birds and all their trilling and chirping!   They make the world seem so much brighter.  You can’t feel down with birds in your yard!”

And one day, near my birthday, my husband came home with a blue parakeet inside of a cockatoo’s cage.

“Here’s your blue bird of happiness for your birthday!” he told me with a smile.

At first, I enjoyed the bird, who I named Mozart, antics.  He used his beak continuously as a hand and he was very interesting to watch.  My mistake came when I watched videos on YouTube on how to finger train your parakeet. 

The parakeets on YouTube were simply wonderful.  They hopped on their owner’s fingers without a second thought. One would stand on a perch and watch his owner while he worked on his laptop.  Another parakeet had his own play pen made of lightweight rope, wooden ladders and perches.  He would play in the playpen, and then hop happily onto his owners finger when it was time to return to his cage.

The one thing they didn’t do was bite.

I was lucky too.  The stripes that went right down to Mozart’s beak indicated that he was still a baby and would be easy to train.

My husband bought home a package of ropes of millet, a parakeet’s favorite treat.  With very little effort, Mozart was greedily eating the millet that was offered him.  He’d even hop on my finger to get closer to the millet.  After a few days of this, the YouTube guru’s said I should be able to lightly stroke Mozart. 

Mozart responded by chomping my finger and then maniacaly flapping to another perch as though the hounds of hell were behind him.

I was encouraged to continue with the millet for a few more days, and try again.  Except in my condition, I have to avoid the possibility of breaking my skin.  My children stepped in for me to continue Mozart’s training.

Instead of getting friendlier, Mozart began to bite harder, eventually breaking the skin on my son’s finger.  And he began to make louder and louder screeching.

Finally, no one wanted to try to finger train Mozart anymore.

Mozart stopped his loud screeching and began to trill happily.    He loves getting new toys, especially bells and is very entertaining to watch.

I think we’ve come to an understanding.



One response to “The Carnivorous Parakeet

  1. sherri says:

    i have never had a parakeet but i have had a few cockatiels… i love those birds!

    i had one that i didn’t keep caged… he had a cage of course but it was open on top and the little guy just did what he wanted… and he would follow me all around the house… perched on my shoulder or some nearby place observing my household duties… if i was in the bath, he was on the counter sometimes even braving the side of the tub… in the kitchen fixing food, he was on top of the fridge… in the living room, he was on the back of the couch or the curtain rod… when i moved from room to room he was hop on my shoulder or the top of my head…. and he also got on Maggie’s back quite a bit… my dog… the bird loved to ride on Maggie’s back….

    i’ve often thought of getting another one but we travel so much these days that it really wouldn’t work out so well…

    maybe Mozart will get better as he gets older… my cockatiel did…

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