My son wanted a parrot. We bought one. Then he didn't want the parrot - petsitterbank

My son wanted a parrot. We bought one. Then he didn’t want the parrot

For the first few weeks, it was like living with a small alien. What was it doing? Were its needs being met? Were these pecks and nips friendly or self-defence? When we first introduced it to the aviary, the poor thing clung to the wire, eyes darting. Of course – it had never been outside before. The kids named him Kiwi.

Doug Hendrie discovers the reality of becoming a bird owner.

What my son stoked? Overjoyed? nope He’d moved on to soccer. “Dad play soccer, play soccer watch soccer play soccer, soccer Dad soccer.” He eyed off Kiwi a few times, but was put off by a wary nip.

Parrot’s bond, and bond hard. With my son out of the picture, Kiwi needed allies. He picked me, as the tallest moving creature in the house. My shoulder was a refuge from marauding small daughters as they battled to give him seeds and bits of apple.

Soon, I couldn’t go anywhere in the house without a desperate parrot launching itself at me. My good luck grew and grew as Kiwi pooed and pooed. If I wasn’t there, he would lunge at any adult and worm his way up their backs, to the terror of our visitors. Long-hidden bird owners stepped forward to guide us in birdland.

You can guess the next part. As the weeks went by, Kiwi wormed his way into my cold, dead heart, as he stole and ate my headphones, tried to make out with his reflection, and pulled out beard hairs. I developed a little singsong pattern just for him, fed him apple and optimized my face for bird.


On his first drive out to my parents’ house we discovered Kiwi was not a good traveller. He sat on my shoulder and silently vomited for 35 minutes. Nothing bonds you like being vomited on. My longtime pet skepticism evaporated.

I found myself boring people with bird talk. Did I tell you my bird ran off with my Scrabble letters? I did already? you sure?

Then it struck me. Couples like to make more couples so they can hang out with couples. Parents egg on their friends and thus make more parents. And pet owners evangelise to make more pet owners. So come, join me. Join BirdBoy.

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