Friday, September 28, 2012

Lessons From a Bird Brain

Dear Diary,

I am at the point in my day where I have finished the prep work for mopping.  I have dusted, swept and vacuumed.  Then, faced with the joyous task of mopping, I decided I really needed to write another entry!  (You will learn I am good at avoidance.)

I wanna tell you about my bird Jayda.  He's named after the precious green stone Jade, and, as is often the case with baby parakeets, we weren't quite sure of its sex at that young age.  We suspected a boy, but wanted a name that would fit a girl, too, in case.   He's got brilliant yellow and green plumage.  Hence the name: Jayda Sunshine Thompson.  I admit I was kinda hoping it would be a girl as they are better able to mimic sounds, especially the human voice.  (Photo courtesy of CGT.)

Jayda has been our pet since Christmas of 2005.  We have dubbed July 4th as his birthday, a nice mid-year, memorable date.  So he is now 7 years old.  I have never had a parakeet live this long under my (or my mom's, ahem) care.  Aside from his regular visits to the vet for beak and nail trim (yup, tried that once, ain't gonna try it again) he has had good health.

Up until last week.

I don't know how it happened.  I heard some fluttering of wings and saw his struggle to stay perched atop his favorite spot in his cage:  in front of his mirror.  Did I mention he is narcissistic?  But I digress.

Upon closer examination (I am not a vet, I just play one in my house), I could see he could not bear weight on his right foot, nor even open and close his toes.  I was hoping it was a mysterious sprain or something temporary which would heal over time.  It hasn't yet.

But Jayda has learned to adapt.  Thankfully he does not appear to be in any discomfort.  He still acts like his normal chirpy self.  And while he has shown that he has learned to manipulate his toes so at least he can bear some weight on the perch, he cannot easily move from one place to another.  He relies a lot more on his beak to climb around on the cage walls to get to food and drink and back again to aforementioned mirror.  It's clumsy and not bird-graceful at all, but he can do it.

Why do I bring this up?  I am sad to have a lame bird.  But I marvel at his ability to adapt to a rough situation.  He relies on the creativity of his little bird brain to adjust and conquer his environment, overcoming the obstacles along the way.  All with a beak and one good foot.

Now here I am, with two good feet and two good hands and brain a little bigger than my bird's.

Time to mop.


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