Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Birds

A student of my husband's who was from a distant country, gave him a pair of canaries. The student's mom had sent them so he would not be too lonely. For some reason, they were to remind him of home. Perhaps he was from a home that had canaries in residence. The young man had to move on to another city and another school and knew my husband had twin grandaughters, so he asked Louie if he would like to take the birds. Of course, my husband said yes.

This was a pair of darling canaries. The twins were not too interested in them, but I was crazy about them. The male had a weird little crest of dark feathers that sat a little crookedly on his head. It actually looked like his toupee had slipped forward into his eyes. He sang his head off, but he did not last long.

One morning, there he was, croaked, in the water dish. I was shocked and saddened. Of course everyone thought I was overreacting. But this guy was charming. I put his body in a ziploc bag for later burial and put it in the freezer. I began to research replacing him. This is why my only google entry is some Illinois Canary afficianado club.

I soon found out that this bird was a crested Gloucester, and he cost over a hundred dollars. The gentleman I spoke with said he probably died cuz I left him with the female all the time and the female tends to harass the male to death. They should only be together to breed. He recommended not replacing him which was sort of a relief. I told the breeder that losing the canary made me sad, but when I found out how expensive he was I was even more sad.

The female was in a cage near my chair in the dining room and we became good friends. She was very demanding and insisted I chirp and cluck at her rather ridiculously when ever I sat down near her. Of course, I enjoyed this because she responded in kind. She also began to sing which is unusual for a female. She laid eggs furiously, and after about a year and a half she began to fail. I knew she was going and held her and petted her. No, seriously, I loved this bird. Well, when she passed, I put her in the freezer in a ziploc bag for later burial.

My relatives were freaked out by the birds in the freezer, but I kinda liked seeing their pretty yellow feathers and remembering them. But, mostly, they were usually forgotten behind the broccoli and the chicken breasts. Then we ordered the new fridge.

I cleaned out the old fridge the morning the new one was to be delivered. As each shelf and crisper was emptied and disposed of, I began to think of what to do with the bird bodies. It was a warm spring day, so I asked Louie to bury them out by the creek. I would have done it myself, but I was really busy, and wanted to avoid getting that little choky feeling I knew I would get if I buried them myself. So Louie agreed to take them out and inter them. I asked him to remember what nifty little guys they were and to think something respectful as he buried them. He agreed and walked out the back door and across the deck. I was standing at the kitchen sink and as he passed by the window and went down the stairs he said, "Here, kitty, kitty."

1 comment:

  1. Well I for number one commentator enjoyed your story very much and knowing the author made it extra special. I don't recall hearing the story before. Love Dearest Nephew


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