Talks With Peaches

Saturday, May 02, 2020

We went for a long walk, Peaches and I. We crossed a couple of adjoining properties that I’ve permission to pass through and continued over the mile-and-a-half loop encircling our neighborhood. I watched the sky intending to pull Peaches from my shoulder if an area predator were scouting above. My bird made our whole walk easy though by staying on my forearms and leaning against my chest.

In Cockatoo terms, Peaches, a Citron Cockatoo, is a little guy. Citrons are smallest in the genre. What my bird lacks in size, he compensates mightily in sounds. Until yesterday, we’d not gone walking in too long, for his grown-out flight wings were worrying me. If Peaches suddenly became frightened and leaped from my shoulder, maybe he’d fly to who knows where. In caution of coronavirus, we waited to visit the bird veterinarian until this week.

Maybe because he’d not been outside in a long while, Peaches stayed silent for the first half of our walk, and although quiet, he was totally alert and active, nuzzling my hands and chin. Finally, I wondered what would happen if I made the first move. I verbalized a couple of “Hellos!”

The bird responded immediately, “Hello!”

After we exchanged “Hello” several times, I moved on to “Goodby!” So did Peaches, and now, we’re walking down the street with loud, “Hello, hellos!”, “Goodby, goodbys!” For the bird, that was “game on”! He let loose with some amazing vocabulary that he shares only at his choosing, and added wilder sounds that reverberated in my ears.

Peaches made me laugh out loud, and does so even when he’s annoying, like last night at bedtime. When I said “Goodnight, Peaches”, he let loose a big squak. Remembering our earlier exchanges, I squaked back. Peaches immediately squaked twice, and I echoed. Our “conversation” got louder and more varied, until finally, my best option was to blow a kiss and walk out on him.

Dear Friends: It’s easy to get so lost with a smart bird that you’ll forget it’s just a bird. Diana

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