boomerang-the true story of a parakeet
We traded a dog for a bird
My boys were young, between the ages of two and ten, and always had been allowed to have a pet. We moved into a very nice townhouse, which I could not pass up because the monthly price was less than $400/month. Considering that this was a three bedroom place, and was located in Santa Barbara, California I just could not pass it up. The problem was that my kids had a puppy that they had had for a little over a year, and we had to find another home for him, even though he was housebroken, and very well mannered.
I explained to my boys the reason why we had to get rid of their dog, but they just did not understand. They cried, they did not want to move, they hated me for a minute, and I considered not telling them the truth, and letting them think that the dog got lost, but could not bring myself to lie to them. They had to face the truth of life at some point in their lives, and there was no time like the present.
I consoled them as well as I could, and then decided to tell them that even though we had to give their dog to someone else, we would get them a pet that they could have at the new house, and the lease said that we could have either fish or a bird.
Given the choice, they of course wanted both. I made them decide, and they voted upon a bird, as fish seemed like a too impersonal of a friend. Like my oldest said, how are we supposed to talk to or take a fish for a walk or play with him./
Immediately I envisioned one of them trying to play with a goldfish, and the end results looked gloomy for a fish, so we went to a pet store that week after we were settled in,and bought a parakeet, who was all white, but was not a pink eyed albino, for I knew that they quite often had health issues. We put off naming the bird right away, for I thought it better to see what kind of personality he had first.
Out he went
Having had animals of all kinds growing up, we had never caged our birds, and I didn't begin with this one. Once we got him home, and into his cage, we opened the door, and I took the time to teach all the boys, one at a time how to handle the bird without hurting him. After a couple of weeks, the bird was very much at home in our house, and perched mostly on top of his cage, but at times on the curtain rod in the living room, and even ventured into the bathroom and kitchen to play in the tap a few times.
The kids loved the bird, and even though it was their bird, we can all pretty much guess who it was that ended up with the tasks of feeding him and cleaning his cage when it was needed.
The bird also learned in no time who was the provider of seed, and when he ran out would make the habit of flying from his perch to the top of my head to let me know that he was hungry. If I was busy at the time, I would brush him off, or shake my head to send him back home, and he would not land, and come right back to the top of my head until I finally gave in and took a minute to refill his seed dish.
So, this is how the kids named him and he came to be called, boomerang. It was a very appropriate name, for he was persistent.
One day after we had the bird for at least two years, one of the kids accidentally left the front door open, and we can all guess what happened next. Boomerang decided to liberate himself.; He didn't go far, only in the tree in front of our townhouse, where we could all see him, and I was pretty sure that he would come back to me, for he would in the house when I called to him. Well, after a couple of hours of calling and whistles, and putting his cage outside, he took off, and went over our roof, and out of sight.
The kids were heartbroken. Their dearly loved bird was nowhere to be found. They looked all over, up in every tree around for the rest of the day, and as it began to get dark, the kids came in, and the tears began. I tried to comfort them, but they were bound to be upset, and they were. We ate dinner in silence, and I could see the pain in their little faces.
It had been dark for a couple of hours, and the kids had their pajamas on. Suddenly, we heard a cat's loud MEOW, MEEEEOOOOW, in our back yard. My heart sank. That was all that they needed to see wast their dear pet eaten right before them.
All of a sudden, we heard a frantic TWEEEEET, TWEEEET TWEEEET at the back door, and I ran, and sure enough, there was Boomerang, begging like all get out to "Let me in!!!!"
I opened the door, and there was the cat, right behind him, but just in time he flew in and right to the top of his cage. I never saw a bird so glad to be captive before in my life. Boomerang never went anywhere near the front door again, and the kids had him for a good many years. He was one of the best pets they ever had.