Sometimes Caged Birds Don’t Sing

Took this photo at the Mt. Pleasant Pier near Charleston. This bird didn’t sing either–didn’t need to.

The other day a friend came over and asked me to go into an apartment with her.  Her neighbor had gone on a camping trip with a church group and left my friend to feed her two pet parakeets.  My friend is afraid of the birds (and most living creatures) and she wanted me to do the feeding while she watched.  It wasn’t a big deal really. The birds politely moved to the back of the birdcage while I lifted the door and placed the seeds in the front of the cage.  “That was easy.” She sighed.  The experience reminded me of story about my father, a somewhat eccentric person.

When I was in the first grade we lived in Illinois in a pastorium next to the church where he was pastor.  He loved animals and took every opportunity to fill our yard with an array of dogs, the garage with Persian and Siamese cats, and in that year one of the bedrooms of the house with canaries. I am not sure where my 3 sisters slept, but I remember this bedroom lined with cage upon cage of pretty little yellow and other brightly colored birds.  There was one problem–other than the obvious one of crowding his children into spaces so he could have the birds–the canaries wouldn’t sing.  He specifically bought the canaries so he could have bird sounds around the house. What to do?

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