Periquin, the Parakeet
Periquín, the parakeet was in the Pet hospital’s waiting room. He had
beautiful light green feathers. A red triangle under his beak gave a
touch of glee to all that green, and that same red also colored several
of the feathers in his wings. He seemed cheerful and fun.
Minutes later a door opened and a young woman carrying a cage came
in bringing a parakeet, identical to Periquín. Watching the two birds
together, one would have thought that they were identical twins.
Periquín thought that the stranger was sick, sad and unhappy. In
that room where silence was requested, he didn’t mind screeching
out, asking the other bird why he looked so miserable.
–That’s none of your business, pal –whispered the stranger.
–So sorry. Bitter, as well! –screeched Periquin, in an ironic tone.
At that moment, the owners of both parakeets apologized to all
present; the waiting room was full of little animals with their owners,
who were ceremoniously silent, keeping the atmosphere peaceful.
The parakeet’s attitude was very inadequate, nothing like this had
ever happened before! But this led to introductions on behalf of the
–Hello, my name is Samantha, and this is Periquín. I apologize for
his behavior –the young woman said.
–Hello, I am Christina, and this is Perko. I apologize as well; this
bird is usually very calm. I am surprised at the fuss.
–Ah, so the bitter one has a name? –screeched Periquín again
Perko couldn’t believe what he was hearing, he was so upset, that he
couldn’t resist answering.
–What a daredevil you are! Tell me; are you that happy being locked
up in a cage?
Perko was standing with his wings stretched downwards, glaring at
Periquín, who wasn’t in the least bit intimidated.
–Locked in? Nah, I’m happy, period. Not like others who get sick by
being locked in.
Periquín was again trying to bait Perko!
–I’m not sick –replied Perko–. It must be the bad food they feed me
on. Or keeping awake half the night, with those strong lights that
are turned off too late at night.
Perko sounded as though he was talking to himself, rather than answering
–How delicate this Perko is! –mocked Periquín, dancing a few steps
around the cage–. I think the food is delicious. I never worry whether
there is enough. I just live, and I am happy every day.
He let out a burst of laughter that surprised Perko, who had
climbed on to the highest rung in the cage, as though hiding from
Perko bit the wooden rung and circled round completely to lower
himself a bit more.
-Tell me if you can exercise, fly freely from tree to tree! Tell me if
you remember the morning dew where one could bath delightfully!
Can you enjoy a rainy day, a starry night, on a branch that is yours,
and yours alone, even though it may only be till the morning after?
–he asked Periquín.
–For your information, I have never slept out of my comfortable
house. How horrible! Trees, rain, dew, never!
Now, Periquín was the one who seemed delicate. And Perko made
sure to take the advantage of telling him so.
–So I am delicate? I think that the only confirmed, delicate pet, is
Perko changed his solemn expression for a humorous one.
–Hey, it’s not that bad, Perko. See how clean your house is – said Periquín,
trying to convince Perko with a rather sad face.
–House? Cage, cage, Periquín! Look at your wings!
Periquín opened his wings and one of them had its feathers cut.
–See what I’m saying? Houses, treats, all the goodies in the world
are insufficient: this life is in captivity. Prisoners! That is the word.
That is what we are: prisoners.
–I still don’t understand you –said Periquín–. Do you know how important
you are in Christina’s life? I am very important in Samantha’s.
She is happy. Happier because I am part of her life.
–What a life humans live! They need a bird, which should be free to
be happy. I think that’s unfair to us, animals.
Now, Perko was resentful. His situation was unbearable to him. He
just wanted to be free, free as the wind, among palm trees, free to
drink dew that accumulated in leaves among the bushes, to screech
and screech in the air without being told: quiet, you cheeky bird!
–Let nobody bother you trying to make you talk like humans, don’t let
them cheat you into learning how to perform tricks, I don’t like the
life of prisoners! I want my freedom! I want to be free!
That was a shout of anguish, of deep sorrow. His freedom was his
life. It wasn’t Perko now who looked ill; it was Periquín, who, having
listened so much about freedom, was now full of intrigue.
–Is freedom that wonderful? –asked Periquín.
–Truly wonderful. Freedom is like breathing, but, of course, in a wood,
filled with greenery and harmony.
–It really sounds interesting, everything must be very fresh out
there, but I couldn’t fly now. My feathers are not equal, neither is
Periquín showed them to Perko.
The conversation between Samantha and Christina became more and
more interesting to them, because they were exchanging methods to
keep their parakeets happy.
–The more you pet them, the closer they’ll get to you – Samantha
–Perko won’t let me, it is always easier to let him do what he wants,
and not bother him. He is aggressive; furthermore, he has tried to
fly away on several occasions. Today I have brought him here to see
what the vet can do to cure his constant bad mood and sadness.
Meanwhile, Perko and Periquín were planning something: their
–I’ve been thinking how to do it –confessed Perko.
–It will be easy. We will have to wait until they are about to cut our
wing feathers. Do you know how to open your door?
–No! –screeched the frightened Periquín–. Moreover, the truth is
that I am very scared to run away. Anyhow, I wouldn’t go very far.
–Of course it can be done! You only have to set your mind to it, and
Periquín was very nervous about all that. But, just at that moment,
he felt relief to hear his name: it was the nurse, authorizing his
entry to the doctor’s surgery.
–We´ll see each other later –he told Perko in such a low tone that
Perko had to make an effort to understand him.
A few minutes later, Periquín and Samantha came out of the
–Ah, you won’t believe this –Samantha told Christina–. I have been
sent to a ten session’s therapy treatment for Periquin; the doctor
says he is very nervous and suffers from stress, I don’t know what
is happening, everything seemed so normal… We only came for a routine
At that moment, Perko got near the railing of his cage and whispered
something to Periquín, talking out of the side of his beak.
–So, do you want to come with me? –he asked.
Periquín started strutting about in his cage, faster and faster,
then he climbed to the highest rung in his prison; he
wanted to hide from Perko, he didn’t want to listen to him!
–You are a coward. Nothing is better than freedom, and I will make
it! I am going to escape. You’ll see.
Samantha was saying goodbye to Christina, who was the next to enter
They didn’t meet after that in a long time.
Some months later, Samantha and Periquín were in the waiting room
of the pet’s hospital, and Christina arrived. In her arms, she carried
a beautiful furry white kitten, streaked with black.
–Hello, Samantha, how are you? How nice it is to see you again –said
–Fine, and you? –answered Samantha.
–Very well, thank you. And how has Periquín got on? Did he get over
Periquín and I still come to see the doctor; we are on the twentieth
visit. I believe this is the last one. He is much better now. Thank
heavens. And, how is Perko?
Christina’s face became completely transformed. Her anger and
confusion showed on it.
–That ungrateful one escaped. It was something to be expected. He
had tried it several times and the day after we met here, he disappeared
and I’ve never heard any more about him. Goodness knows
what happened to him. Imagine all the dangers there are out there
for a little creature who was bred in captivity.
Samantha soothed Christina with expressions of support, especially
referring to her beautiful little kitten.
But Periquín called everybody’s attention when he started screeching.
Through the window, he could see Perko, who was now saying: –I told
you I’d make it.
–I’m glad for you, Perko –said Periquín
–Just as I had dreamt it would be. Everything I always wanted. I
won’t deny that I miss Christina, but I get along very well without
her. And how are you getting along?
–Same as always. I’m sorry I didn’t accompany you, but I was not
born to be free. It would be impossible for me to live without Samantha.
I am truly sorry.
Christina and Samantha walked to the window to see what was calling
Periquín’s attention. But when they reached it, it was too late,
Perko had flown away, losing himself in the distance, while he could
be heard guffawing.
Periquín was also laughing. He was happy for his friend and for himself,because at that moment he understood what happiness really was: it is doing what makes each one truly content. He was happy with Samantha, and Perko, with his freedom.