Hi he-humans and she-humans – a chirpy day to you. Let me introduce myself first.
I am Scooby, the cockatiel and I wanted to let off steam a bit by ranting my tale of woes. I don’t remember when I was born nor how many times I was transported before I first saw “Chirp”, my human and her mate “Chirp-chirp”. I have heard it said before by Fuff-fuff, the resident sage of my first non tree nest (a yellow-red mish-mash of colours and an upturned beak) that first impressions are often the truest but I have to admit, my first peek at Chirp and Chirp-Chirp was not positive.
I have always wondered why humans have those ugly bulbous things in the center of their faces which Chirp calls a nose instead of a natural ( and beautiful) beak. As Fuff-fuff says – “God has not always been kind when creating other creatures who are not birds, but we must be kind and not show how hideous in their ugliness, the humans are.” As far as looks go, Chirp and Chirp-Chirp looked no more ugly than the rest of the human hordes who trickle in throughout the day in space where my metal nest is and poke their long toes in which is attached to the upper part of their body. I gave my best chirps hopefully when they approached as I noticed Chirp holding some ga-ga in her hand. We birds sort everything that we see into gaga and not gaga. If we eat gaga, then the strange pain that comes over our tummies two or three times a day goes away and we feel happy. We ignore everything else as non-gaga. I could feel her front toes stroking my head when I was eating the gaga but hey I was too busy eating to protest and besides, it felt just like how my nest human strokes. I was too distracted to listen in to the conversation that Chirp and Chirp-Chirp were now having with my nest human. I realised that I was moving to a new place only when I was eased into a smaller metal nest that was moving and my best friend Beaky started chirping in alarm as Chirp and Chirp-Chirp carried me away.
I was lulled into sleep as the shiny beast’s belly I was put in moved in a rhythmic pace and woke only when the beast’s belly opened and Chirp carried me outside along with Chirp-Chirp. I saw 3 more humans peering in at me whom I didn’t bother to name. Cockatiels don’t believe in naming and counting more than two and I saw no reason to change this wise tradition. I was next placed into another metal nest with an (extremely) pretty she-cockatiel who ignored me and preened her feathers. Chirp and Chirp-Chirp called her Luna. She climbed affectionately onto one of Chirp’s toes and ate some gaga while fixing a beady eye on me.
We settled into a routine with Luna ignoring me for the next few sunrises and Chirp and Chirp-Chirp cooing every morning and evening when they came to fill the gaga cup. I helpfully tried to correct how to cheer(chirp)fully sing in the mornings but Chirp and Chirp-Chirp seemed too stupid to follow my lead. I recalled Fuff-fuff wise words and magnanimously ignored the tuneless chirps & coos every day from Chirp and Chirp-Chirp.
You, dear reader, might think why I am tapping all this in Chirp’s red thingmajigie (she calls it a Lahhhhuppptop) if my entire day consisted of listening to tuneless coos and eating ga-ga. Well, here is what happened, countless sunrises later (cockatiel’s counting strategy applies to sunrises too). First of all, Luna politely allowed me to drink slosh-slosh today first though she pretended to be busy cleaning her feathers. Second, Chirp coaxed me to her shoulder and carried me outside where I saw neighbourhood crows cawing insults at each other as they fought over scraps and I saw more shiny beasts moving fast and past where we were standing. As I watched open-beaked the entire scene, I heard the nearest crow shouting abuses at me – “what ho, slave yellow-feathered fool. You are the reason the crows on the street no longer get any food. Come and fight with me like a bird.” (You may have heard the phrase – “Come and fight like a man” which is sadly overused and especially when most humans discontinue the fight when one of them gets red flower on their toes or any where else in their body and it starts flowing. But to watch a real fight, a bird fight; is to watch Rajnikanth instead of Quick-gun Murugan – one of many Fuff Fuff’s trainings is to watch the latest or oldest Rajni flick)
I flew up ignoring the indignant coos from Chirp near the mouthy crow. I wish I could say I gave as much as I got but sadly the unnamed but no less hated crow left me in a tatter of feathers and a riot of red and yellow. As I hopped sorrowfully on one leg, I saw Chirp coming towards me. Before she could reach me though, I saw the next door Mrs Dog bearing down on me. Alarmed, I shook my feathers and found that I could fly. A scared soar later leaving an alarmed Chirp below, I found myself on top of a metal pole. The mouthy crow returned to taunt – “How long will you sit on a light pole, you airhead? Haven’t you seen dogs before?” without realising that the neighbourhood puss bearing down behind him on the adjacent pole. I chirped a “Hey, watch it” which the idiot Crow took to be a taunt. What happened later can be imagined – the puss sprang. What was unexpected was that I felt a strong urge to defend my fellow glider – albeit the distantly related (and not so distantly perched) crow and flew to the cat’s rear to give him a strong nip. Stunned and in pain, the puss fled. The (not-so-mouthy) now scared crow watched the entire by-play open-beaked and croaked thanks after he shook himself violently.
The now-friendly-not mouthy crow (seriously, I have been corrupted by the humans to even say mouthy instead of beaky) invited me to his real nest to visit his she-crow. I politely declined. After an “I was so jealous because you found yourself a human family to give you ready made gaga every day. Go now, your human is waiting for you below. Just soar and flip twice to reach her.” I enquired – “Wow, you are so smart, how do you know the way” to which he responded, “Well, you would know if you were wild – we all have the Woogle sense inside us which always shows us where to go, how to go and what time to go. Live on-air-traffic updates also when we are in flight. Good luck!”
I followed his instructions to a now anxious Chirp waiting on the ground and flew down to her shoulder. A few anxious exclaims later and after having some slosh poured over my flowing red flower, I went back to my metal nest and had the satisfaction of seeing an anxious Luna awaiting my arrival back. Well that human saying of “All is well, that ends well” is so true,
Chirp Chirp Chirp till I write again.
Categories: Short story