This hot July morning in Kansas City I spied a brilliant yellow goldfinch out my kitchen window.
He clung to the thistle sock that I hung off the back deck pergola.
As I awaken this morning and drink my cup of coffee, prepare for the day, I think of my pet parakeet.
Perky Parakeet was bright yellow, purchased from a pet shop as a very young boy barely able to perch.
My loving mother made me promise to line the bottom of the cage with cut out newspapers.
I was about ten years old and needing to learn more responsibility ( I’m sure teacher mom thought).
Perky was a delightful pet bird.
Perky at first fell off his perch a few times at night and slept at the bottom of the cage.
But soon this young yellow bird was full of tricks I taught him.
Perky sat on my finger, he ate his cuttle bone doing somersaults.
Perky climbed on swings and hanging bird toys, using his beak as a third hand.
He tweeted to me in a variety of bird talk.
He loved to have his head scratched.
He taught me to love birds, to observe animals more closely, to revere God’s natural world.
I began to observe birds more in my backyard, naming them from Mom’s bird book, learning their songs.

Pretty soon after Perky died of old age, we had a turtle, a rabbit, goldfish, baby chicks, tadpoles turning to frogs
in the household.
But no pet taught me as much as my first gift and responsibility pet, Perky.
Maybe it was the excitement of being my own first pet.
In my teen years we would have Whiskers, a wired haired stray terrier, who was wired in personality.
Whiskers ran away and in front of a car before my 13 year old eyes. I was heart broken.
Baby and Bridget, two black lab mix strays were dear to me, but more my Dad’s dogs, since they stayed home, when I went off to college.
Perky the parakeet remains in the deep recesses of my brain, as memorable, brilliant, a gift.
As the poem says:
All creatures, great and small and the Lord God made them all.
Thank you Perky.

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