Free Bird

Following on from my last post, we did indeed get a free bird. And a mature one at that. Henry the ‘northun git’ parrot appeared one afternoon on the Ivy on the wall of the garden. In the way of such things it was at about 4:30pm on a Friday. He was quite happy just sitting on the ivy whilst assorted small garden and woodland birds were crapping themselves, thinking ‘what the #### is that!’ as they flew up and down the length of the garden wall. Knowing that an inland frost was forecast for that eve, (please someone from the met office show me an off-shore one …), I decided I would try and get some assistance for it. Local vets were closed, RSPB weren’t answering, so I tried the RSPCA. Having negotiated their call filtering system I managed to speak to a bloke who took all the details, injured, description, size, etc and that was that. They would have been more interested it seemed if it were a young bird, rather than mature. Clearly setting standards high so early in the weekend, no doubt if a young bird had not been caught on the Friday night and if having joined their local Tennants Association, (see worst enemy post), if it were still looking grim by 11:00pm Saturday night the mature bird option may suddenly become more interesting. By this time Mrs Norvenmunky had come home, and her being her, dived into the ivy, and t’parrot happily walked up her arm and sat on her head. So still having the bird in the bush (so to speak) the local feds were contacted, on account of Mrs Nm knowing that they had a bit of a thing for animals, including, and this isn’t a cheap joke, a pet pig. The Sherriff suggested we contact Mrs X, who had lost a parrot, so Mrs Nm went off to get her, and the childminder who had a large cage, for Chinchillas, not children, agreed to lend it to us for our ‘guest’.

Meanwhilst, t’parrot, now in the conservatory, and happily trashing the joint, they are destructive bastards, they really are, had started to talk. A quick check on tinterweb had id’ed said parrot as an African Grey, about a thousand quids worth! t’parrot was now talking in a quite distinct Yorkshire/Gratuitous comedy ‘northerner’ accent. So he wasn’t ‘local’. Mrs Nm now had returned with Mrs X who immediately declared parrot as ‘hers’. Bollox is it, I thought.

Now t’parrot had a red ring (round his leg that is, nothing to do with his diet), so I asked Mrs X what the number was on her ring, well on her birds, it wasn’t like I was expecting her to have a tatoo or anything, and she didn’t know the number. So when did you lose the bird? Ooh ages ago, (long enough to have sold her cage), yes but how long ago? ‘ooh dont know can’t remember’. So you lose a thousand beer tokens worth of parrot and you don’t know when… Ooh he’s grown a bit since I lost him too! So you lose an exotic bird ages ago, in a non natural habitat, and when he appears he’s fatter, bigger and healthier than when you last saw him, thats normally the case isn’t it?, Oh and he swears a lot too. Well Henry, hadn’t been swearing, though truth be known he had plenty of reason to have been swearing. Having been ‘lost’, found (captured), and now having some mad, fag smoking, Ferrari red haired harridan blowing kisses at him, and not calling him by his name, must have grated just a little.

I politely suggested the ‘lady’ was ‘probably mistaken’, Mrs Nm bundled said biddy back into the car and got rid of her. Not ‘wet work’ tempting though that was to suggest, but just back to her drum. Having realised that Henry was in fact quite a clever sort of bird, and was possibly going to be around a while, I thought that the least I could do for his real owners was to teach him a new tune to whistle. So I chose the Italian national anthem. That’ll teach them.

Fortunately in our village we have a local shop, that sells all sorts of stuff from obscure car spares to fish food. He also sells bird food. Berg, take note re bird food, the restaurant is still a better bet, (though more expensive), than a bag of Trill and half a bottle of Ouzo. Mind you I have nothing but admiration for the dogged determination shown in bringing the lo-cost ethos to a new ‘market’, called ‘women’ …
I asked Mr Shopkeeper he had any parrot food, and he asked why did I have a parrot? For once, the reflex didn’t kick in, and I assured him that yes indeed, I was the temporary, (probably), keeper of an African Grey, as of the previous evening. Ah I know someone who’s lost one he said, yep so do I, I said. Oh no not her he said, this lady, and gave me a phone number.
Now this lady, had the foresight to have taken the ring number, which matched, and also gave a description of a distinctive mark, and told us his name, Henry. Little Nm went up to the parrot and said ‘hello Henry’, and Henry said ‘Allright me duck’ back. Whithin thirty minutes a charming lady appeared with a wad of cash, (the reward, not taken), and Henry was re-united with his proper owner. He was an interesting bird, as he was a companies food tester, hence being a fat bastard presumably. He had a range of accents, mostly West Yorkshire as that was where he was based as a tester, no doubt passing comment on the food tasted,

Call yerself a shef?, That’s shite that is …

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