A NEW FAMILY MEMBER


     A click was followed by a triumphant, ‘Beat you!’ from a beaming R.

‘So you did,’ I responded,  fastening my own seatbelt.  ‘So how was your party at school today?’

‘I got cake all over me,’ she announced with glee. 

‘Only a year more,’ I said casually, and you’ll be six and can have your own pet.  What would you like?  A lion, or a tiger?’

‘I would like a cockatiel,’ she said dreamily.

‘The trouble with those is that they don’t go, “Cheep-cheep”…’ I began.

‘… they go, “Expensive-expensive!” instead,’ R giggled.  She’s heard that one from me before.

I paused to negotiate a hump.  ‘Or a budgie?’ I suggested, even more casually.

‘Oh, yes, yes! I’d like a budgie; a budgie!’ she beamed at me.

‘But then, you’d have to share with your sister but make sure she didn’t harm it; and clean the cage; and make sure there was always seed and water.’

‘I can do that!’ she declared.  She noticed we were approaching a group of shops on our route home, and the train of thought made her ask, ‘Can we stop at the pet shop again for a while?’

We do this quite often just to see the pets.  Attractions include a whopping great python, a large tarantula, turtles, and a parrot doorman on an outside perch with a ‘Please give me an opportunity to bite you’ expression.

‘OK,’ I agreed, still trying hard to keep up the casual voice, and to hide my grin, and pulled in there.  Before we got out, I said, ‘Actually, there is a little budgie up there hoping to be R’s best friend, if you’re sure you could do all those things?’

She stared at me wide-eyed, and I gave a little nod. Her face lit up like a lighthouse. ‘I promise I’ll clean the cage and do the seed and water and …’ – slightly less enthusiasm – ‘… share.  I promise!’ 

We flew rather than walked up the stairs to the bird section, and to a back set of cages where a few dozen young budgies chirped and fussed and flapped and fluttered. ‘These are the ones you can choose from,’ I told her.

Radiant joy didn’t stop her from making a very carefully-considered choice. She narrowed prospects down systematically until finally pointing firmly, ‘I want this darling yellow one with the collar!’

‘Right,’ said I, ‘and now the cage?’

Here, my pre-planning went awry.  She took a fancy to a different cage to the one I had decided would be ideal (which was on a generous ‘Special’)’.  Although cheaper, hers was not nearly as good.

‘Don’t you like this one?’ I asked, indicating my preference.

‘No; red doesn’t go!’

‘Would you like that bigger type in a different colour?’ the assistant suggested, and took us to a storeroom where a pink version filled both of us with delight, and was very shortly occupied by a budgie.

Daisy cage

Then came the irony of choosing a mirror – with a red rim!

After that was the naming.  My suggestion of ‘Snackie’ – to go with our cat ‘Mackie’ – was rejected outright. ‘Um … her name is Daisy.  Second name Twitterina,’ R decided almost immediately. ‘Daisy Twitterina (Smith-Jones)’ (here, adding on R’s hyphenated surname).  

Then she had second thoughts and dithered for a while before coming back firmly in favour of Daisy.  The ‘Twitterina’, though, seems since to have migrated to ‘Twitterella’. 

Shortly after our return home R proved that she was able to master the rather tricky seed and water trays, and to do everything needed for budgie-maintenance alone and unaided.

Daisy Twitterella and R

Although I would have preferred to have taken it at a gentler pace, by evening, egged on by her mother, R already had Daisy sitting on her shoulder and examining her hair for nesting possibilities.  Daisy also wants to egg R on?

Daisy Twitterella and kids

 © Colonialist May 2013 (WordPress)

Advertisements

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies.
This entry was posted in Birds, Grandchildren, Humour, Personal Journal and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to A NEW FAMILY MEMBER

  1. Marco says:

    That is so sweet of you Col! Let’s hope Mackie behaves himself, for now at least…hehehe. Cake al over herself? I miss the days you could do that and get away with it…

    Like

    • colonialist says:

      A personal cake coating is certainly one of the decadent pleasures one really misses …
      Mackie has tried the occasional tentative swat, and has duly been bellowed at.

      Like

      • Marco says:

        I’m sure Mackie just wants to nibble on Snackie’s toenails – to help keep them short all all that 😉 Ever so the busy, helpful beaver…

        Like

  2. 68ghia says:

    She’s a precious little thing Col 😉
    Hope the good intentions carry on past the first week 😉

    Like

  3. adinparadise says:

    Soooo cute!! I’m sure they are the best of friends already. I had a blue budgie named Georgie Porgie. I couldn’t believe how many ‘liquorice allsorts’ he deposited in the bottom of his cage. Although he spoke really good English, I never managed to potty train him. 😆

    Like

  4. melouisef says:

    Awwwwwwwwwwwww!!!
    Will you be able to take Daisy out of the cage eventually?

    Like

  5. Sonel says:

    Awwww, now how adorable is that Col! I am also in love with the “darling yellow one with the collar”. What a great present that is for sure! I sat here smiling all the way while reading the dialogue you and R had. 🙂 Daisy Twitterina sure is a beautiful name and the photo’s are so beautiful! Daisy found such a lovely home! 🙂

    Like

  6. adeeyoyo says:

    Super post, Col. Lots of nostalgia here although we had guinea pigs – first…

    Like

  7. Pussycat44 says:

    Soon there’ll be another chatterer in the house!

    Like

  8. nrhatch says:

    What a memory making day! Love the photos. Thanks for sharing. 😀

    Like

  9. Beautiful post, Col, I was there with you all the way. Magical moment, that instant of pet acquisition.

    Like

  10. Aw, too cute. You really built her anticipation, and she looks delighted 🙂
    I hope she’s better at sticking to her promises than my son was all those years ago when we went down the goldfish, hamster…etc route!

    Like

    • colonialist says:

      🙂 Hopefully one stands a slightly better chance, with girls. Anyway, she will have a nagging grandfather on her case very quickly if she gets lapses of memory!

      Like

  11. disperser says:

    Reminds me of Oscar, the budgie we had right after we got married (I think that was my first pet ever).

    A very sensible choice.

    Like

    • colonialist says:

      You were sadly deprived. My first pet was a budgie, but I was about granddaughter’s age. I loved it passionately, and it went everywhere with me.

      Like

      • disperser says:

        Let’s just say my childhood was not conducive to having pets. But that was one of the first thing we did after we got married, got the budgie . . . then fish, then a cat. We had cats until two years ago, when we lost our last one.

        Now it’s full circle again, being pet-less for a while. I’ve never owned a dog, and that’s one thing I still want to do, perhaps a few years from now.

        What I really want is a dragon, but apparently one has to be a scantily-clad female to get one, and while I do have the legs for it, I don’t like flaunting them. Besides, it won’t be until my 70’s when I’ll have a decent pair of breasts.

        Like

        • colonialist says:

          There is something incredibly appealing in the thought of having such a fearsome flying friend, isn’t there? I find that I am affected by my own music for the flying sequences of my little kids’ book, to the extent that I can live the feeling of wonder and excitement of the Immy character.

          Like

  12. Aw, lovely name…lovely birthday prezzie too 🙂

    Like

You have the right to remain silent - but please don't!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s