Wednesday, April 16, 2008

So Long Sydney

I'm sad to say Sydney, our cockatiel, died sometime today. He was chirping and hopping about this morning but when we got back from our counselor, he had died. He'd been acting a bit funny lately but, this being our first aviary experience as a family, I guess we missed the signs that he wasn't feeling well. He will be missed. He was a funny bird. I never could get him to say "Go Ravens" but he would proudly proclaim himself a "Pretty Bird" (a trick his former family taught him) and it was many a day when one of the young ones would get chastised for running their electronic toy noises for the 8000th time only to discover that the bird was the one making the exact noises (why, oh why, couldn't he learn something CUTE?!). He also whistled better than the average 7 year old so that I never could tell whose tune was wafting through the house.

He hated our school reading time. I guess he felt that his voice should be heard over mine and every time I would pick up a school book to read he would begin making noises. The louder I read, the louder his noises until we would give up trying to compete and cover his cage over with a blanket. He loved Tad and would ride around the house on his shoulder or his head even on days when he was in no mood to be coddled by anyone else in the family. He and Philip had a special relationship. They would spend about a half hour every day talking and bowing to each other. Philip actually cried for about 2 minutes when he realized Sydney was gone. Somehow Philip has always been touched by animals - he had a special relationship with our cats long ago also.

I think, though, I will remember Sydney's private antics the best - the things he did when he thought no one was watching. He once had a week long battle with the living room wall clock after we moved his cage so that it sat just under the clock. Every morning and evening for a week he would sit on the top of his cage and peck at it. He finally stopped when we moved his cage about 3 inches to the right of the clock. That's all it took. Lately he had taken to lining up the seed hulls from his bird food along the length of his perching rope. Maybe he learned the lining things up thing from Philip. He was very meticulous about it. On many an occasion we rescued him from narrrowly escaping the jaws of Pooka the golden retriever. He would get the wild idea that he could fly far, far away and then would land on the floor right in front of the dog's nose. Fortunately, the dog is much older than he and the reflexes aren't so good anymore...

Well, Sydney our friend, you will be missed. You provided our family with many a laugh and your crazy companionship. May you rest in peace.

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