The small pet shop in the center of town had the usual pets and they were nice. It just wasn’t what Tommy was looking for. The store owner agreed to order anything that he wanted and could afford. Now all he had to do was convenience his parents of his new idea.
“Mom I have saved my money waiting for a pet to come along that I really would like to have. I think I have found what I want. It’s just that I’ll have to order it and Mr. Johnson at the pet store has agreed to do it for me. I have to have a large cage and lots of food when it gets here. I’ll do all the work and you will never know it is here.” He smiled showing his dimples.
“Well what kind of pet is this?” His mother asked.
“It is only a small parrot and I want to teach him how to talk. He will stay in the cage all of the time so you won’t have to worry about him getting out and messing up things. What do you think about it?” He asked.
“If you can afford to take care of it and clean up after it then it is ok. I just want you to know it goes in YOUR room and I am not going to be doing any cleaning up after a bird. Is that completely understood?” His mother cut her eyes sharply at Tommy. It was a look he had come to understand very well.
Tommy couldn’t wait to tell Mr. Johnson and the order was placed. Tommy ordered a big pretty cage with all the accessories a bird might need. His laptop stayed quite busy for days getting things all in order for the big day. Since his room was upstairs and away from his parents room things should be just fine.
A month went by and finally Mr. Johnson called to let Tommy know his bird had arrived.
Tommy was so excited he could barely talk to his mother. He had to get going to get his beloved pet. His heart was rushing inside of him and he was very nervous to say the least. This was a day he had been waiting for!
He had done his homework and knew that the lorikeets have a special tongue with little brush tipped feelers on them for feeding on nectar and soft fruits. He had read that the lorikeets have tapered wings and pointed tails that allow them to fly easily and with great agility. Their feet and legs are strong. They tend to be hyperactive. Their personality both in the wild and in captivity is rather clownish.
He had order the Blue Lorikeet and was so glad because it and the ultramarine are endangered. He was hoping to get a mate and try to breed them to help with their population. These birds along with the Rainbow Lorikeet are the most beautiful of all parrots. He couldn’t wait to see what his looked like. The car sped over the bridge and around the final curve. He was in sight of the store. Now to find a parking place close enough for him to transfer the cargo. Tommy’s fingers were perspiring so much that the steering wheel was wet.
Fortunate there was an empty space and Tommy pulled in quickly. He burst through the door then stopped to catch his breath. His mouth was so dry he could barely speak.
Tommy had already taken all the nectar replacement foods home. He had to stop by the grocery store to get colored fruits and vegetables, spinach, apples, pears, berries, grapes, sweet potatoes and lots of honey. Then he would be all set. It was only a few seconds until his eyes set on a beautiful Rainbow Lorikeet.
It was a female and absolutely gorgeous.
Over the next few months Tommy spent lots of time feeding and learning exactly what his bird liked and disliked. The first thing he learned was that because of the largely liquid diet the lorikeets droppings are very liquid making them one of the messier birds to keep. This is when Tommy named his bird Poopsie!
He felt it was an appropriate name for the bird.
It took Tommy almost a year to teach Poopsie to talk. He was successful in getting Poopsie to say, hello, goodbye, pretty bird, and Tommy Tommy Tommy! Balk Balk!! Tommy also found that he had to clean the cage daily to prevent bacterial and yeast infections. Poopsie learned to listen to music and dance.
Today Poopsie has a new sweetheart named Pepper and they are expecting a new baby.
Tommy is as happy as any young person could possibly be. So are Poopsie and Pepper!
Question: How often does one have to clean a cage?
Written by Sybil Shearin
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