After 19 1/2 years with Harry, I found myself in a cage alone. Harry wasn't acting right. He was always tired, and he sometimes forgot to feed me. So one day, when Harry wasn't thinking about me, they showed up. They called him Dad and they called me bird. And they put me in a cage I didn't know and took me to a place I didn't know and left me with people I did not know.
But I knew I didn't like any of it. This place was loud. My home with Harry wasn't loud. This place had loud people and unhappy animals making loud sounds. My home with Harry didn't have other people or unhappy animals. Harry was a good guy. This place smelled wrong, and sounded wrong and all anybody asked was "how much?" and "does he talk?" Stupid questions are annoying. Those are the wrong questions! I have questions, but no one is listening to me. I now have a bowl full of seeds and a water bowl full of water from a tap. It's all nasty and wrong. This is all wrong and I hate it.
So there I am in a cage I don't know stuck between two birds in cages they don't seem to know either. I don't know what is going to happen. And we are stuck in front of a door that is opening and closing a lot and it is cold. I hate it here. I hate it so much I turn around and give everybody my back. I refuse to turn around. The cockatoo to my right wing is naked and jumping up and down every time somebody looks at him. I try to tell him to ignore all these people and their faces and their yells and their stupid questions and their fingers poking in the cage. But he won't listen. He's so upset, he's lost. The bird to my left wing is old. He's an old Military Macaw. I can tell he's been through all this before. He barely looks at me or any birdy else. And so it goes all day. My cage is so short I just see belts and bellies and purses and hands. I can't see faces to tell who is what and what they want. I refuse to look up. I won't. Neither will the cockatoo or the macaw. We all decide not to look. Noise, hands, cold. I hate this, I hate it all.
And so the first day of people poking inside the cage I hate and people upsetting the cockatoo that won't listen to me, and people talking to the macaw that won't listen to them ends. I hate this place and I hate this cage. I turn my back to it all. I do not know what is going to happen.
It's dark, it's bedtime. Where's my real cage? Where's my real dinner? Where's my real roost? Where is Harry? The lights go out. We are alone except the other animals. No one said good night. No one said good bye. No one said see you later. They just left us. I do not know what is going to happen. I can't sleep much. It's not dark. There is lights flashing from cars outside on the fast moving street. The cockatoo is rocking alot. He can't perch still. I don't blame him though.
Sometime I must have fallen asleep because I woke up to hands in the cage I hate putting more seeds in my dish. I'm hungry, but I'm not eating that. I can't eat any of that. And so the day goes like the day before. People, cold, loud, people poking my cage, the cockatoo jumping. I turn my back to it all. And then it gets worse. SO many people start coming in with dogs on leashes I can't see anywhere. My cage is blocked by so many people and dogs! Dogs sniffing the cage I hate and looking at me with stupid dog eyes. I'm stuck! I'm trapped. It's louder, it's faster, it smells worse and the dogs are everywhere. The people and dogs make a line out the door and the door stays open. We are all cold now, and we can't get warm because the line of people and dogs. I hate all of this. I turn my back on all of this and close my eyes. I don't remember making a wish, but I suppose I must have, because when I opened my eyes I heard a voice behind me.
"Hey buddy, what's your name?" Now that was a nice voice, with a proper question! I didn't turn around, I didn't want him to leave. He didn't sound like Harry, but he sounded nice like Harry.
"It's okay, I won't leave just yet. You must really hate it here. It's so cold!" And so this voice kept saying really nice things and never asked questions. He just said things I was thinking and what I worried about, which was nice. I wasn't alone. I was going to turn around and take the chance of this nice guy disappearing when another voice showed up.
"AW!" It was a girl voice. I knew that much. "What's his name? He has his back to you, he seems upset."
The nice not Harry voice answered her. "Poor guy, he is really upset. Let me talk with him a while."
"Of course!" she said. "I'll stay with you, let's move these people away from his cage. This is ridiculous."
I turned around to find mom and dad making people move AWAY! Oh yes, I knew he was my new dad, I knew that after he asked my name. And since they came as a pair, well that's a 2fer deal! So mom stood in front of the cage I hated and told people I was theirs and they needed to stand somewhere else. And dad and I talked.
Dad opened the cage I hated and asked if I wanted to step up. How polite and kind. Yes, yes I would! So I perched on dad's warm hand and we talked some more. Mom kept telling people to stand somewhere else with their dogs.
I asked to step on mom. Sometimes you have to take chances to get what you need. So I stuck my foot right out and up and waited for her to get the gist. She did pretty quick, too! So I perched on mom's warm hand and we talked. Dad left to talk to some guy, I saw him talking to that guy pointing at me and the cage I hate. Some boy walked up to mom while I was watching dad, and tried to get me. I ran up to mom's shoulder and looked down at him. That boy said, "Can I hold that bird?"
Mom said, "This is my companion parrot, no you can't touch him." I DID know what was going to happen!
Dad came back and said, "Ready to go home Franklin?" I have to forgive him that name. My name isn't Franklin. That guy he talked to made that up. But that's okay. I can train mom and dad at home.
Now some ask lately why I hate mom. I do not hate her. I love her alot. I love dad alot. So then you would ask, what are we doing around here then? Why do I say the things I do?
Because I am not the only parrot in the world that needs understanding. Because to understand companion parrots, you have to think like a companion parrot. And to think like a companion parrot, it's easier to learn by watching somebody else do it. So mom is a really good sport about all this and we work together to show any one that wants to know, what a parrot really thinks and what a parrot really needs. And its way easier to learn this laughing while you learn it.
There was always a plan. My plan was to go home with mom and dad. Her plan is to show just how much companion parrots really think, appreciate, eat, sleep, act, need, laugh, play, joke and need a flock. Now you know the story and the plan.