Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Quid Pro Quo, Sarah

A couple weeks ago I was playing Warcraft with my friend Bri. When Bri was talking, I could hear her bird squawking in the background. The wierd thing was that the bird was also talking. It seemed like this bird could carry on a conversation with his owner, and that really intrigued me. Over the next week or so I couldn't stop thinking about it. I did some reading about birds on the internet and found out that every day budgies are 'champion talkers'. Suddenly found I couldn't stop thinking about budgies. Early Friday morning I decided I should get one.

I couldn't wait to go to every pet store in town and pick out the perfect budgie. I called my mom and made plans to go bird shopping after work. Then I called my sister and made additional plans to go bird shopping. I was so excited I didn't know if I was going to go with both of them at the same time, or just do it all twice. As it turned out I was so excited I couldn't even wait until I was done work. At lunch time I went to the pet store nearby instead of eating lunch.

The budgies were not exactly what I had built them up in my mind to be. They just sat there squeaking. They were not even moving. Certainly none of them were talking to me. It was strange, but everything I had been feeling all week seemed to collapse into nothing when my mental image met reality. I was about to leave when this weird gray bird with yellow feathers on his head started making eyes at me. He came right over to the front corner of his cage and was looking right at me. He wasn't at all like those boring budgies. This guy seemed inquisitive, he seemed interested in what I was doing. I found myself spending the rest of my lunch break staring at him. Before I left I checked the label and saw that he was a cockatiel. I realized that a smart, inquisitive cockatiel was probably way better than even the most talkative boring old budgie.

I decided that before I did anything about buying a bird I had better check my rental agreement. I was pretty sure it was going to say something like maybe no dogs or cats, but I was also sure that there must be different rules regarding birds. I was wrong. There it was. Point number 6. It was the only one in bold font: no animals of any kind are allowed on the premises. When I read that, it really bummed me out.

I moped around all that evening and the next day. On Sunday I went to meet Megan and Jenn for lunch at a nearby restaurant. It was nice out, and I decided to walk. Along the way was that pet store where I met the grey cockatiel. I knew I wasn't allowed to buy a bird, and I knew didn't have much time, but I really wanted to see him. When he saw me he came right up to check me out and it felt like we were connecting. My heart was melting.

I left the pet store and from the middle of the parking lot I called my land lady. I knew I should wait until Monday because she hates Sunday phone calls, but I sometimes often lack patience. I asked her point blank if I could have a bird. She paused and said, "... yeah, you can have a bird. Can you come over and fix my computer?"

My spirits were high again, knowing I could buy a bird but I wasn't sure that I should. These birds live up to 20 years. I didn't know if I wanted that responsibility. After lunch Megan and Jenn and I went to see the cockatiel, and Jenn simply told me I should get him and give him a good home. That was all the nudge I needed. That afternoon I brought home my new baby.

Chino suggested that I name him 'Baby' and I decided that was a good name. So far he is great. I love him a lot. The only bad thing about getting him is that now I have to fix my land lady's computer.
I hate fixing computers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I asked my mom for a puppy one year for a birthday present and she bought me my first bird instead. He was a cockatiel and I named him Max. He was really smart and funny. He would go on walks outside with me and he would sit on my shoulder in the morning when I got ready for school. Well my brother took him out once and wasn't watching him so a cat got him. However my mom quickly got two cockateils from the bar next door and one was kind of cool, but he died not long after we got him. The other one is the biggest brat and over 11 years later he is still around. He bites and is constantly carrying on very loudly. The worst though, and the reason I commented, don't let Baby hear that annoying alarm clock sound if you don't like it. He picked that up and will do it every day starting at around 7 am. So be careful with what sounds you don't want him to pick up. I am sure you found out already if you looked online that they can learn to talk too. The one I have can say pretty boy bailey and he plays hide and seek behind his blanket that covers half the cage. Good luck with your new friend.