A couple of days ago, my son came bounding into the house, anchored by his cumbersome motorcycle boots. "Mam, mam, you've got to come and see what we've got..."
In the rather large animal-transport-to-the-vet cage, was a brawny cockatoo, completely unruffled by the fact that there were many humans surrounding him. His main objective, it seemed, was to perform as many party tricks for his audience as possible by flapping, and clawing, as well as using his beak to climb up, then down, then across the cage. Momentarily, he would stop his antics, as if waiting for applause.
Was it fate, chance, that this healthy cockatoo should cross our family's path after the passing of our beloved Bucko, who was unfortunate to contract beak and feather disease at birth?
The temptation to keep the bird was great. The desire to keep the healthy bird in a cage for most of his long life expectancy years was not.
Last night, before any of us could take the slightly injured friend to WIRES, the Machinist let him out of the cage, and watched as he fluttered across the garden, climbed up the fence and sat contentedly, plucking at the leaves of a photinia robusta bush, in true cockatoo fashion. Later, he made his way across the road from our house, and was joined by a flock of locally bred cockatoos, squawking loudly, as if cheering him on. An avian 'support' group.
We're all hoping that our feathered visitor will have a long and fruitful life of destruction and - flight.