Budgies up close & personal
Barneys New York, rack card, 2000
As a kid I had a series of budgies as pets. Easy to train, gregarious, talkative, amusing, easy to care for - a great companion for kids. Sadly they tended to have relatively short lives, but that was one of life's early lessons too: living life and coping with loss.
Two that stand out in my memory are Sean and William. Sean was a completely yellow budgie - I'd never seen one this color before - and he was not only a good talker, he was a really good table soccer player, could fly well, and worked out regularly on his gym equipment.
Somewhere there's a photo of Sean putting his head inside a young boy's mouth - I imagined the newspaper headline reading "Brave budgie puts head inside boy's mouth - and lives". If there is such a thing as reincarnation, Sean is probably a dentist in Topeka, Kansas.
William was a budgie of a different feather, but a budgie to the core. Blue like the budgie in the card above, I remember him as a great talker and, as with Sean, always delighted to see you.
Memory clouds a bit as to which one of these intrepid small souls was the one who developed the habit, but as a teenager whenever I drove my car up the driveway beside the family home if the back door of the house was open there would be a torrent of "Where's Jim, where's Jim?", some exciting whistling, accompanied by running back & forth along his perch. (note - "Jim" inserted to represent my name). The budgie in question had a good ear - he was never fooled by the engines of the two other vehicles that used that driveway or those of visitors' cars.
And, of course, my little feathered friend had to be the first to be greeted when I entered the house.
Here's to you, my budgie buddies - extra seed & a nibble of cuttlefish too!