From the vault: To Kill a Parakeet

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from 1998

After an impulsive kindly act, I have sacrificed half of our kitchen, the freedom of my cat and the cost of a two dollar eat-me treat, and I have every kid in the neighborhood pounding on the front door at naptime, just to tell me that their mothers say that they “can have it.” They all want our little prisoner, you see.

flickr by stillframe
from flickr by stillframe

I found him and it’s a case of Finders Keepers so far. The prisoner was squatting on my car, looking very much out of place, and he was lethargic enough that I had no difficulty grabbing him gently and doing a quick inspection. He bit at my fingers, but otherwise didn’t put up a respectable fight.

He was in big trouble since his escape and I told him how lucky he was that I caught him. He never would have
lasted the night if I left him out there: between the predators and the cool evening ahead he was almost certainly doomed, so I improvised a cage out of a plastic milk crate and some cardboard and tape.

The word quickly went out on the kid hotline and in no time at
all we had a dozen midgets of mayhem spectating and speculating. One brought food and I gave the prisoner water and a rock to sit on.

In all the excitement, our stair railing was dislodged and one of
the Dominicans scraped her leg while jockeying for position. Since I am known as Mrs. Bandaid, she wouldn’t have dreamed of going home for first aid. I had to produce the goods and mop up her blood. Naturally, once the bandaid box was outside, everyone had a little scratch or scab that really needed-needed-needed one of those florescent bandages. When I handed them over, the chilluns ended up taping their nostrils closed instead and crowing, “LOOKIT NEE! I CAN’T BREEDTH!”

They are nice kids. I am very happy they have homes to go to every single time they appear.

We asked around, but no one has claimed the prisoner yet. Sparky made an excellent FOUND sign, which we posted prominently, but Sparky is also quietly hoping that no keeper will be calling. She sits in front of the cage for an hour at a time redundantly announcing every time he calls out. “He tweeted!”

He’s very content here, I THINK. Then again he hasn’t been alone with Sally Cat yet. Or Spunky. Or Bo for that matter. Heh.

I have developed a little model called the Living Creature Reflex Thingy to describe the girls’ reactions to critters. As an example, if we spot an exotic-looking ant on the pavement…

Sparky would say, “Let’s follow it and see what it does.”
Spunky would say, “Move! I NEED to stomp it! I RILLY NEED

Bo would say, “NYUM!”

The prisoner had better hope we get that call.

Waddaya think?

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