A confession: we are impulsive acquirers of pets. Our cat, Sweetpea, wandered up to our door and we adopted her three years ago. Last summer, we went “visiting” the animal shelter and came home with our spaniel Violet. A few weeks ago, we went to the pet store to get some feeder goldfish for our birdbath and found ourselves contemplating buying five budgies (parakeets). Five?
A quick reading of the current budgie literature (full of the controversy over whether or not to clip budgie wings), convinced us that one budgie might be a better way to start. I sent Christopher and a couple of the kids off to buy one. They came home with a white bird with a blue spot underneath it’s wings. Inveterate fantasy reader, Maggie, dubbed the bird “Senji.” Christopher said, “I wanted to call it Blue Moon.” I opted for Blue Moon.
Blue seemed rather subdued at first. We tried to talk to him and get him to come on our hands but he didn’t seem interested. Then in the phone book, Christopher discoveredd Ramona the parrot lady and gave her a visit on the way home from work. He came home insisiting Ramona’s was worth a family visit, and it was. On Saturday, we met not only Ramona, but Ramona’s husband, three of her grandchildren and lots of different sorts of parrots I didn’t even know existed. Ramona clipped Blue’s wings for us and pronounced him healthy, but didn’t give us much hope for taming him, “Unless they are hand raised, they don’t tame well. All the ones at the pet stores are too old.” She cautioned us about his bite too. She and her husband regaled us with wonderful stories about the bigger parrots and made us wonder if we should get one. They said the best pet for kids was a blue and gold Macaw. Price tag $1500, plus more for a cage.
Blue Moon cost $23. “Maybe all we want is just a bird to, well, be a bird,” suggested Christopher.
Years ago, I’d had some finches who were “just birds.” They were pretty boring. I thought I’d give training Blue Moon a try. Steffi and I managed to capture him in a box and take him to the bathroom. He fluttered around a lot but we finally got him to land on our hands, then our fingers. After a week of working with him, he has become very tame and even the little girls can get him to “step up” to perch on them.
Blue Moon may never learn to talk like a Macaw, but as a pet for our family, he has given pretty good entertainment value for his $23.
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