Saturday, March 15, 2008

May I Help You?

Six months ago Alex the African Grey died unexpectedly. This morning I discovered a site about a Arielle, a macaw who speaks English fluently.

This made me think of Santi, who has been my friend longer than most humans. A Greater Sulpher Crested Cockatoo, Santi is a force of nature. He came to me while still a chick, and now lives with my mother. He has always communicated freely with humans, dogs, and other birds. One of my favorite stories is from when he was living with me in Seattle.

Santi loves being outside. He was in a large camillia tree next to my porch, and I was sitting on the steps reading. It was a sunny day, and the street was quiet. The phone rang. I ducked inside, grabbed the phone, and came back out. Santi was gone.

During the two minutes I was out of sight Santi climbed down the tree and walked across the road to visit the neighbor working under his car. He sauntered quietly up, crest raised, until he was next to the neighbor, his beak by the man's ear. Then he said "Hi! What'cha doin'?"

When I got down the stairs I saw a young man standing next to his vehicle holding Santi on one arm and rubbing his head with the other. They were still in conversation. There was a group of people around them. Santi was delighted to make new friends. He knew more people on the street than I did.

Every one on the street knew that story by the end of the day.

1 comment:

Veryl said...

I will never forget Santi and his indignation at being forced to stay in the carrier when we took him back to Seattle along with three big white dogs so you could fly to Hawaii with Pele.

He is a wonderful bird.