October 14, 2002
The following story comes to us from Ottawa, Ontario. The author, April Duperron, was recently enrolled in literacy classes at People, Words and Change, in Ottawa. April loves animals and plans to set up a dog grooming business. She is the mother of two active boys. Since she began working with her tutor, April has used her new library card to borrow dozens of books about animals.
Once I had a bird named Red. She was a cockatiel parrot. She was all white with two range cheeks. I got her from my Dad for Father's Day man years ago. When I got her she was only a few weeks ago. The breeder told me when I got her home to hold her close to my chest and to take her out once a day.
This bird was one of many that could learn to talk if I was the only that could teach her. I would have to teach her one word at a time. I took the bird and told my father what the lady told me.
The bird was very special because she was more than a bird. She would learn many words like: "I love you", "pretty bird"; she even called the dog and sounded like the phone ringing. She was a wonderful pet but she hated being in her cage. She was always loose in the house. We would have to be careful about the doors and windows. She would go in her cage just to go to the washroom or eat and drink. She would eat with my father every day whatever he was eating. Like eggs in the morning or steak at night.
When it was time she would go sit in my father's chair. My mother made her this thing with popcorn in it because Red loved popcorn. If my father would ask for a knife or fork the bird would get him whatever he asked for. Red was the smartest bird I ever saw.
Was my father ever mad when one morning the bird was dead. I think everyone knew that Red dried that day. The bird was killed by spraying Lysol in the house. So please remember if you own a bird, never spray Lysol in your house!
[This story was taken with permission, from Learning Links, Spring 2002, published by People, Words and Change.