Friday, July 15, 2011


My dreams often start off semi-normal then devolve into angry, nonsensical, and frustrating experiences, but last night, something different happened.

Most people know I have a 19-year-old cockatiel named Sydney who loves me dearly and rules the house with a strong beak. Well, Sydney has two pets. They are Frick and Frack, two parakeets. Frick is blue-speckled and psychotic. Frack is a bluish-shade of white. He's a bit less jumpy than Frick and nips a lot less. Still, neither of them are people friendly. No hopping on the fingers, no sitting on the shoulders, no interacting with Sydney. It's our fault really. For the first five years of their lives they were the caged birds in the room because the few times they got out, they refused to go home. Then, they were clipped. I hate clipping birds' wings, but sometimes it really is for their own good. And parakeets aren't the brightest birds. They've been known to die of starvation, because they didn't realize that food was just below the shucked seeds in their feeder. Well, about five years ago, I started letting them out more because I sensed that they were unhappy in their luxurious wired condominium. It was a struggle at first. They'd flop to the floor, then learned to fly here or there, leaving unpleasant little presents and chew on everything. I'd have to catch them because they'd be too pooped, er, tired to fly back home. But I didn't put them into their cage. I'd sit them on top their cage and let them go back inside. Finally, after about a year, they figured out they could fly anywhere as long as they landed back at the cage. They sing more, eat more, and in a way, they seem happy. Sometimes when I talk to them, they actually look at me like they want to hear what I say.

Last night I dreamed about Frack. I walked outside via the sunroom door, and a white streak flew outside past me. He flew around the yard, soared far above the tree tops, dove with abandon, did somersaults in mid-air, and glided past me chirping excitedly. This went on for a long time, and just when I thought I'd lost him forever, he cruised back into the house. He landed softly on top of his cage, crawled around to the front door and entered it. I stood in front of the cage as he took a long, long drink. After his drink, he jumped back onto his little bar and almost seemed to be smiling. He tilted his head to one side and said softly, "Thank you."

I was so stunned, I woke up. I have to admit, I'm a wuss. I had tears in my eyes over his joyful flight. Was my subconscious projecting what I wanted to hear, or can one really sense when birds are truly happy?

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