African grey parrot Bondi

BONDI, THE STAIR MASTER

By Diana Borasch (Story and Illustration)

 
I am never alone, and my house, despite hard work, and good intentions, is almost always somewhat messy. It is a good thing that I am not a fanatical housekeeper, or I would exist in a constant state of panic over the debris created by an active household. I have one husband, two boys, three birds, and one golden retriever, not to mention all the critters on the back deck (but that is another story).


 
When I am at the sink, my budgie is always on my shoulder. When I am in the bathroom, the dog is always right there with me, and my Grey parrot, Bondi, will call and ask “Diana, what are you doing in there?” I just never realized the lengths, or in this case, heights that Bondi would go to find me. The other day I had to go upstairs for what I had thought would just be for a few minutes, but the few minutes stretched into a half hour or so, and Bondi decided that he’d had enough. Normally he is content to stay on, if not in his cage, and even though I knew his wings needed clipping. I was not worried. I should have been because he had been unusually loud and active that morning regaling me with an ear-splitting whistled version of a Mozart tune (‘Eine, Kleine Nacht Music”), and an equally deafening ‘bad opera with birds’ rendition of ‘Mommy loves these baby birds!!!” He had a great time screaming at the other birds to shut up when they dared to make any noise that might interrupt his performance. He exhorted the dog to a chase by yelling “Squirrel” whenever I made a move towards the back door.


 
In any case, after a successful hunt for dirty socks, with them loaded in my arms, and with the dog in hot pursuit, I headed down the long hall for the stairs. Imagine my surprise, when I negotiated the last corner to find a startled Bondi blocking my way. I almost squashed him, and Winston barely had time to put on the brakes. Before I could even try to stop the dog from stepping on him that bird reared up, fluffed up, glared at me, and yelled: “What are you doing, PUMPKINHEAD?” He stalked over to me, ordered “Up!’ and then calmly rode down the stairs on my hand as if nothing had happened. His adventure through the family room to the stairs had left him extremely pleased to have found me and to have me back in hand, so to speak. Oh, as I said before, it is a good thing I am not too obsessive about everything being clean all the time. Because as I descended to the kitchen, I noticed there were additions to my stairs. Obviously, my little bird had more than enough time to contemplate his imagined abandonment and had left a small green calling card on each and every step. I am still working on getting the stains out of the carpet ... I am still smiling ...


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