A little bird story
About six years ago when I was visiting friends in West Wales I was introduced to a small green Macaw. She was housed in quite a small cage which was on a shelf between the workshop and the living room of a very small dark Welsh cottage. The living room was not used much maybe a little in the evenings and there was a glass window separating her cage from the workshop. She was such a sweet little bird and very sad and I came away from there thinking how lonely she must be. I visited a few more times as my friend had horses of which I was very interested in and I got to know the little bird quite well. Some weeks later I had a telephone call saying that the little bird needed a new home and my friends had decided that they didn’t have much time for her and she was being neglected. This was very apparent with my visits and it must have taken them three years to discover this as that is how long they had had her. They in turn had rescued her from even further west in Wales but I knew nothing about the circumstances for the family.
A couple of weeks later I took the journey west to collect my new bird, she was not the first bird I had owned as in the past I have had budgerigar’s and finches but she was the first Macaw I had owned. I came away with my little bird in a tatty smelly cage I had been given and she talked to me all the way home. She had many versions of hello in many different voices the most comical was her posh telephone hello.
At that time I was living partly in Wales amongst the builders refurbishing my new home and Wiltshire where I was staying with my mother to help look after her and to work locally. I was given strict instructions that my mother would on no account accept a bird into the house so while I was away during the week she stayed with friends in Wales but she proved to be a little noisy so bravely one weekend I took her back to Wiltshire. I did not warn my mother but just arrived on the doorstep.
During the short time I had had her my little bird was named Ladybird as it seemed that her last owners hadn’t even bothered to give her a name. After my mother coughing and spluttering and saying she didn’t want the bird in the house I knew it would not be long and sure enough she then more or less took her over and they became best buddies.
Ladybird became a great favourite with everyone particularly our neighbour who had taught her to say ‘Hello Peggy,’ (my mother’s name) this is how I was greeted most mornings when I took a cover off her cage. With a new cage and a new home she settled in to our household very easily, she had a few annoying habits such as answering the telephone very loudly and for joining in when you were laughing or sneezing. She picked up on the different phrases we used calling the dogs in and out of the garden and fascinatingly when playing in her cardboard boxes which she loved to do she used to have lengthy conversations with whoever she thought was in there with her. We think she must have spoken Welsh as we never understood what she was saying and often she would stop talking rapidly around 5.00pm when I think her original family must have come home from work and I think one of them was called Sheila because this was the only word we could ever decipher.
She became a very sick bird over the last few days and with the fact she was nearly always oven ready where she used to pluck her chest out as soon as she had a nice thick green jacket. I noticed she had lost quite a bit of weight and she had not been out of her cage playing on the table with her boxes as she would normally do all day. I took her in yesterday to the vet where he diagnosed respiratory problems and possible liver disease. For such a sick little bird I thought it unkind to put her through tests and moving to the specialist vets so with heavy heart we had her put to sleep. It has only been 24 hours but the house is very quiet. In time we will get another bird but for the time being we will remember our little Severe Macaw with love and happy thoughts and remembrances.