“Eoghan, why is there a parrot in our living room?” I was expecting that question and I’m not sure how to answer it other than by being absolutely honest with him.
“It flew in through one of the windows?” I call back quietly from the kitchen where I was in the process of trying to fix myself up some food. I hadn’t had time to eat just yet since this bright-coloured guy was waiting for me in the living room when I first got up.
“It flew in through one of the windows? You’re kidding me right? This is a wild parrot, it can’t have- there are no wild parrots in France, Eoghan.” Baffled, I think, is the only term I can use to describe the tone of his voice right now and I have so snicker, I can’t help myself. It’s rare that I manage to baffle Lex and I haven’t even tried that hard. Not that I was trying to, of course.
“I don’t know what to tell you, Lex. I got out of bed this morning, came into the living room, mostly zombie-like because I was still tired but I’d heard the thunder and there it was, waiting for me, perched on our perfectly good couch and I’m sure it’ll need some repairs.”
“Well, someone has to have lost their bird, we can’t just keep it here.” I figure we could though we have nothing for it, no food, no spot for it to do whatever it is birds do when they need to empty their bladders or what have you. I’ve never had a bird before in my life though I’ve seen more than my share over the years.
“It’s pouring out there, we can’t just fling it back outside and hope it finds its way back to wherever it might have come from.”
“What kind of idiot keeps a parrot as a pet but let it keep its flight feathers? I’m not saying they should keep it caged or anything but if they’re letting it roam free they should at least make sure it won’t take off this way. Don’t we have an animal protection place around here?” That thought hadn’t crossed my mind. Not a lot had actually crossed my mind. It still was too damned early in the morning for me to worry about much of anything except for the fact that I was hungry and I’d been woken up by the thunder reminding me we’d left a few windows opened overnight for the cool air to flow.
“How about we eat something and then you call the animal protection place and I’ll see if I can’t get this big bird to come along on my arm or something. We can’t get much of anything done if it won’t even come anywhere near us, let alone getting it into the car. Unless you want to switch roles?” I know he won’t switch, some animals are more sensitive to his gift than others. I think Adela honestly doesn’t care but I’ve seen a lot of birds just sort of flee him. Cats keep their distances for a while before they’re all over him and dogs tend to be sort of wary but after a while they come around too.
So we ate, he found the number for the animal protection place, I can never recall what they call it in this place, and he called. They told us they couldn’t come to pick it up but we could drop it off at their office and they’d take care of it until its owner showed up. That was going to be interesting for the simple fact that it was pouring out there and since I’m the one who’d managed to befriend the bird, Lex was going to have to head out there in the pouring rain to get the car out at least up front.
I mean, we both could have gone out, me with this huge bird on my arm, both with umbrellas, trying to get into the car but there were a lot of flaws with that idea. For one, any time Lex tries to approach the bird at all, it starts to freak out so we could head outside, the bird freaks and it takes off. We figured we’d take the old van, he’d be up front, driving and I’d sit all the way in the back.
So I let him get dressed, take an umbrella and he heads down by the elevator while I take the stairs quietly. By the time I’m down, he is more than likely in the garage and he’s getting the van out and up front. He parks it as close as he can so I only have a moment or two under the rain and he comes around to open the door before he steps away.
I take a moment to just breathe, I look up to the bird, just watching me, curious more than anything else and I step outside, briefly under the rain and into the car. Before the poor bird has any idea of the mild wetness to its wings, I’m inside, settled and Lex is closing the door. He rounds up to the driver side again and gets in. I’m just hoping it’s a short drive.
It turns out to be a longer drive than I might have wished and I guess Lex was too close to the bird for its comfort because before too long it was flapping and trying to flee—not that it had much of anywhere to flee—and all I could do was reach for its mind to try to calm it down. This isn’t really how I had pictured my day to start.
When we’re finally at the place, my arm is somewhat bleeding in places but I know it’ll heal. Lex repeats the motion of parking the car and rounding up to the back to open the door before he steps away. I guess I’m thankful that someone saw us parking up front and came out to meet us with am open umbrella. I would have been soaked by the time we’d been inside and I don’t think this bird still would have been on my arm.
We leave it inside where someone takes over as arm-perch. They thank us for bringing it in since someone had already called asking if they’d seen her as it turns out the big bad bird of doom is a pretty girl. We nod, we head back to the car and we sit there for a minute or two, just trying to wrap our minds around what just happened.
I look down to my arm and the healing welts and I shake my head with a lot note. “We’ll have to replace the screen on that window.”
Because that is the main issue that I think bugs me to that point. All our windows have screens to keep bugs out and somehow, just somehow, there she was, perched on our living room couch as I closed that window. I didn’t even notice the screen, I think I was too shocked by the sight of her.
“We’ll change the screen before too long, don’t worry about it. How’s your arm?” He asks the question with genuine worry as he starts the van so we can head back on home. The wipers are going at their fastest speed and we can barely see where we’re going. This is not a day to be outside and I’m going to have to make a note to offer to drive Armin and the kids home tonight. I was so busy worrying about this bird that I didn’t even think to offer them that much this morning, I hope they made it to the library as dry as possible.
“I’ll be all right, these are going to be healed within the next couple of hours. She had a pretty frigging strong grip and I honestly hope to never see her again.”