Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P is for Pippi Birdie Parakeet

My theme for the A to Z Challenge: Desert Canyon Living

This is the story of two parakeets, one an escape artist that came to a tragic end; the other a more laid-back bird that is still with us. His name is Pippi Birdie. Pippi means Birdie in Swedish. 

One evening in the year 2000, my husband called me to come outside as the entered the gate to our yard. I saw something green flutter in his hand. Sure enough, it was a parakeet, a barely alive parakeet. He saw it in the street and stopped to pick it up. I have never been one for birds in cages, but what do you do when faced with a rescue attempt? Of course you do all you can to save a life, no matter how small. We took the bird out to the office to keep it away from our cats and dogs, then we cleaned out the cat carrier for a temporary home, we gave the bird some bread crumbs and water and left it alone to rest over night. It was still alive the following morning, so we got everything she needed, a cage, food, and so on. I even bought a book about keeping parakeets since I knew nothing about birds. We named her Tweetie Bird, so original, I know.

One thing we learned was that they do like company. So we got a companion for her, Pippi Birdie. They didn't get along really well, but they were together for several years, until one day, when I was cleaning a new cage we got for them, she somehow got out. Our dog Bandit ran after her as she flew across the living room with me in pursuit of them both. Unfortunately, she flew too low and he got her. It was horrible, she died and I buried her in our back yard, feeling very guilty for being careless and letting her out. 


It became clear very soon that Pippi Birdie didn't mind. He was happy to have his cage to himself, with no one hogging the food or pecking on him like Tweetie used to do. Watching him play with his mirror, we bought him some more and now he has three that he constantly interacts with. Observing him for a while, we  decided not to get a companion bird for him. It might not work out and he clearly didn't mind being alone.


I still don't like the idea of a bird in a cage, but he seems content. He is particularly happy in spring when there is a lot of bird activity and twittering going on outside. He sings along with the outside birds. He also loves music and TV and twitters along with those media. He used to sit up high, away from the fray, on the fireplace mantle, but since my accident last spring he lives on a side table in a corner, next to the couch. If I get some more range of motion back in my injured arm, he will return to his fireplace perch.


He doesn't seem to mind sitting on the table. I know that Samson has messed with him a few times, but this is a tough and calm bird who doesn't scare easily. One day, I caught my husband vacuuming his cage and yelled out that these birds can die of fright. Well, Pippi Birdie survived that ordeal and he survived Samson. I enjoy sitting on the couch and watching him play with his mirrors and other toys in his cage. So he may stay on that table for a while yet. No, he doesn't speak English -- if he did, I would love to have him tell me who occasionally poops on the living room floor while we are in town. 

He is eleven years old now and is a very sweet and much loved member of our family. 

23 comments:

  1. Beautiful! Inger, I think I'm in love with Pippi!

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  2. we always had a parakeet or two while i was growing up. my dad became very fond of them and they would tweet back and forth. each morning, the bird (under his cage cover) would hear the shuffle of my dad's feet on the floor as he got up in the dark and would start twittering to him. :)

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  3. How lucky for Tweetie to have found someone to care for her and learn more about birds so the care would be proper!
    We had finches and cockatiels. When the last finch died I realized how much I missed their morning songs. It used to warm the house. One of the cockatiels would do a 'cat call' whistle when I walked through the room. I loved that he knew true beauty when he saw it ;-)

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  4. I always love those kind of birds, my mom used to have one when she was young, and she always loved telling me stories about him. I however never had a bird, because we always had cats...not a good combination. lol

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  5. Sounds like a wonderful home for the both of them. I'm sure Tweetie enjoyed her time there while she had it:) I know nothing about birds except that they are beautiful to look at and they seem to be very entertaining as well:)

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  6. I have been wanting a bird for awhile now..this post makes me want to go to the pet store!

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  7. we grew up with a series of parakeets too. we taught them all to wolf whistle, totally benefiting our own self-esteem. i recall petey enjoyed watching us play cards. he'd fly over and mark the cards. ;o)

    tina, there was always one cat, one dog, and one bird sharing space in my childhood home. if they are brought in young, they take to each other with no problems!

    pippi is a cute, content looking fella!

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  8. Several parakeets have graced my life, but I'm afraid my bird days are over. Sounds like you've had a wonderful experience with the Pipster.

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  9. We had a cockatiel that would sit on my ex-husband's shoulder. I was vaccuming one day and opened the front door for some reason, and the dang bird flew from his shoulder through a 6-inch opening. I waved to him as he flew overhead. Not a dang thing I could do.

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  10. I haven't had birds. Dogs, cats, hamsters, fish... pretty much everything except them.

    Pippi is really cute! And I learned a new word. :-D My husband is Finnish, and we've been through Sweden.

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  11. I had to LOL on having the bird tell you "who" pooped on the carpet! Sounds like Pipster is quiet a character :)

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  12. We've had birds in the past but don't now and probably won't it's cold here for caged birds. Have you read Enslaved by Ducks? That is so funny and I think your experience with lots of animals can relate to the author and his wife and what they do with the many animals they acquire.

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  13. Sweet blog--thank you! Just a thought--if he COULD talk, do you think he would name the REAL culprit or one he might have a grudge against? Do birds hold grudges? Are they always honest? (I don't know, either.) Have a lovely day----Fran

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  14. I used to have a blue parakeet named Tuffy. He had a yellow head though. He would say 'pretty bird' and whistle the Andy Griffith song.

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  15. Pippi is so pretty! My mother had a green one that she rescued from out of doors. She named him Spike Jones because he made so much "music" with all his bells and toys. He lived for several years. If he had been left outside he would have died when their cold winter came.

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  16. The can die of fright?! I had no idea.

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  17. Years ago I had a parakeet named Pete and I'd let him fly through the house on occasion. Six months after I got him, I was amazed at the boldness of my Pete as one morning he sat on the floor of his cage giving me kisses through the bars. I came to find out he hadn't become bold after all, but had had a stroke and was just bobbing around trying to find his balance. As I rushed into the vets office with my Pete wrapped in a towel and my two small boys by my side, I'm sure the waiting room full of people were wondering why I was hysterical in tears and what I had wrapped in the towel. The vet promised me he would put Pete to sleep softly and not do anything radical like konk him over the head or anything...

    Pippi Bird is beautiful... and I'm sorry to hear about Tweety. I'm sure you were very upset. I'm learning so much from your A-Z challenge :)

    Tell Samson his girlfriend is having surgery today for bladder stones... :(

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  18. Having a bird in the house is such a treat. Love to hear them sing and tweet. Pippi is lovely :)

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  19. I had to laugh when I read your husband vacuumed the cage. Only a guy would do that!

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  20. Pippy has a good life with you, your husband & the dogs. Don't blame yourself for the other bird. It just wasn't meant to be with you folks anymore. Pippy has beautiful coloring!...:)JP

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  21. I love pippi's cage. very nice
    www.secretlilies.blogspot.com
    and thanks for stopping by my blog and dropping a comment

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  22. Would love to meet Pippi. Loved this story. Greetings from another desert-dweller - Albuquerque, NM, here.
    Karen

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  23. I am so sorry about your Parakeet. My husband's neices have a pair. We had finches and we kept their cage out on our deck, but I think some opened the cage door, for when my daughter went outside to get them, the cage was open and the birds were no where to be found. Oh well, they got free.

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Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

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