It’s a beautiful sunny Saturday morning and I have released Skye and Jura from their messy little cage. Getting birds has been one of my best decisions in recent years. Last year on Saint Patrick’s Day, believe it or not, I found a juvenile African Grey parrot grounded on Thomas Street. He was a little bashed up and bruised, but otherwise quite healthy. I only know of one such bird in the city, and that is Joshua – the pterodactyl companion of a friend. Thinking that this little chap might be an escaped Joshua I called said friend to enquire. No, it wasn’t Joshua, but she did help me out with a spare cage and food until I could relocate the owners. A couple of months past and the owners never turned up. No one in Ireland seemed to have lost an African Grey. There were a few chancers called, but no one could prove that he (or she) was their feathered friend. They aren’t exactly easy keeping, and at length a pet shop in the city was able to re-home the critter, now called ‘Birdie-Birdie,’ with a man down the country with an aviary befitting such a monster.

Once he (or she) had gone, I realised that the unexpected had happened. I loved having the little beaky git about the place. Now, I wasn’t about to reclaim this thing or go out and spend millions on the same type of bird. The fecking things live forever. My solution was to go out and get me a parakeet; much cheaper and much easier to keep. Enter Skye: a gorgeous sky blue and white budgerigar who, on account of his happy colouring and my passion for Scottish independence, I named after the Isle of Skye. Before long he was stepping up on my fingers and tormenting the dog and the housemate, but he was getting a touch lonesome in the cage when I was out through the day. This meant that another one needed to be brought in before Skye got all territorial about his space. Another bird and another Scottish island: Jura – the wee yella hen. My hope was that Skye would teach the newbie how to be tame. No such luck. Once he had a wee woman in his life he had had enough of me. They’re tame enough, but not as tame as he was before she arrived. I suppose I am jealous that he has a bird.


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