Thursday, April 10, 2014

Poem for a Piranha Bird

Either this is Thurston's sad face or his relieved face
 Where there were two there

is now only one: Thurston,

mourning his Lovey.

Poor boy....

When I woke yesterday to discover Lovey's body, dead on her nest, I was surprised and shocked at first. But then not so much. Especially when I thought of all the frantic nesting she'd been doing, and how afraid I was that 'no eggs' meant she could be eggbound. (Although I can't be sure, I think it's why she died....)

James claims all was well when he checked on them before going to work early that morning, but I can recall hearing Thurston in my half-sleep, his volume disturbing my dreams. I thought he was just singing up the sun! But maybe he was calling for help. Or keening his sorrow.

The grandbugs were due any second so there was little time for me to mourn let alone arm myself with leather gloves and heavy sleeves before reaching into the cage. But Thurston let me do what I had to do, bare arms and all. And he was still and quiet all the while I did so, watching intently as I took Lovey away....

Later that afternoon I cleaned his cage thoroughly, and he stood by and watched me as I hung toys from the overhead bars, not once trying to sabotage me and skin me alive. It made me think: Is he just too sad to kill me? Was Lovey such a bully that anything she'd do he had to do, too? Did he feel he had to protect her from me? It seems like all he did day-in-and-day-out was feed her, hand her nesting material, preen her feathers, answer her beck and call, take her abuse, warn me away, and be romanced into frequent birdy sex. Is he just too exhausted now from all that to attack me? Is he just enjoying his first-ever BREAK from all that responsibility??

Today he seems like an altogether different bird. Nothing but non-stop nattering and playing with his toys. He somersaults from his new swing and hangs upside-down from his plastic chain. He sings rounds with Miss Lily. There are mirrors in his cage now and he mutters to his reflection as he nods off for a well-earned nap. And he's much more interested in a quick nibble of my fingers as I thread the lock onto his cage door. 

Perhaps his grief was short-lived. Perhaps he was as abused by his bitchy love as the rest of us were. Perhaps he's enjoying being a widower (at least until he realizes that his frequent-birdy-sex days are over....). Perhaps this is the beginning of a brand new Thurston. I hope so. It's been the pits trying to forge a relationship with these adoptees while Lovey's beak has called the shots. Maybe now things will be different.... 

I'm down to one Piranha Bird. Sad.... But I suspect Thurston and I will be just fine.

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