Page Forty-six

sehnen posted on Jun 09, 2008 | views: 131 | Tags: Ix, in company withx

mon 9 june 2008    Greenfield

Still another of the fourteen stolen, Lizzie was a Senegal parrot, and the only parrot I’ve ever had. She was three when I got her in 1991, and is now twenty, if she’s alive. And she had yellow eyes, which never ceased delighting me.

I’ve been told recently by two different humans that she’s living with that unholy, smarmy, lying priest in Turners Falls, but both of these people have lied to me before, so who knows? Senegals are not talkers, not in human style anyway, but she always spoke perfectly fine Senegal parrot. She learned cockatiel pretty well, and for several years spoke a very respectable cat. Lizzie was definitely an oddball, like me, and through the long years we had our adventures, especially when she decided to exit her cage without permission. Parrots are very prone to this, anyway. She gave me one excellent bite in January, not long before we were destroyed. Got infected and everything. Parrots are prone to biting, too. But over seventeen years Lizzie only bit me four times, and only badly that once. Maybe she knew we were finished, and wanted to give me one hell of a bite to remember her by. I remember it, Lizzie Bean. But I would have remembered you in any case, bite or no bite.

For all our shared years, there was the continuing and never-solved mystery of the top of Lizzie’s head. It was bare as a boiled egg when I got her, and for more than seventeen years I tried to get those damned things to grow in and stay in. They grew in scores of times. They were perfectly happy to grow in. They just never stayed for very long.

I tried everything. Things I read in my bird magazines, things I talked over with the pet shop owners, things other parrot-keepers told me. Everything. No, I didn’t take her to the vet, but I did ask vets about it when I had another animal in their exam rooms. My small amount of money had to stretch for a lot of animals, and I never could pay for vet visits that were for something harmless. The first theory for bald birds is always nutritional lack, but I offered Lizzie a huge variety of things. Most of them she declined to eat, being always an extremely finicky eater. Next I tried vitamins in the water. All of my birds got these for at least half of every year anyway, starting with spring molt. Second after nutrition is always the anxiety theory. Anxious birds often pull out their feathers. I gave Lizzie more time out of her cage, etc. I set her up so she had no other birds too close beside her, etc. And still her head would fill in and look nice, and then go bald again. I would occasionally catch her eating a feather she would hold in her little birdie hand, but it was almost never a head feather. Wing and tail were the kind she liked to munch on, and only when they were falling out anyway. She never yanked them out herself until they were already loose. Nor did I ever, in more than seventeen years, catch her pulling out a head feather, and I was home a great deal of the time.

I never solved the mystery. The day Lizzie was taken from me and hidden inside the sleazy priest’s house (I wasn’t allowed to go inside and see my birds), the top of her head was bald again. This priest, and some others he’s palsy with, started passing malicious and patently false gossip about me and my animals two days after the eviction; gossip relating to what “terrible condition” they were in and how I was “a hoarder who didn’t take care of them.” One hundred percent nasty, bullshit gossip, and very typical of the filth in this town. Lizzie’s head wasn’t one of the slander items brought back to me from Turners by the friend I was staying with in Greenfield, but I’m sure it must have been passed around as further evidence of my cruel neglect of my animals. May all who passed this stinking dirt rot in the fiery hell that they believe their made-up god will send them to if they sin. They sin.

If Lizzie (and supposedly four cats too) are really with this priest, why didn’t these people who were only too happy to tell me this, offer to take me to visit them? Because cruelty, taunting and teasing, are a whole lot more fun than mercy and kindness, it seems. Even to self-desribed christians.

once, in the care of morning
in the air was all belonging.
once, when that day was dawning,
I was with you.
once, as the night was leaving
into us our dreams were weaving.
once, all dreams were worth keeping,
I was with you.
once, when our hearts were singing
I was with you.    
~~~  roma ryan


Update 22 June 2009:  Is Lizzie dead? She would be 21 if she were still alive. Is she still with that priest? Was she ever? I was told so many things about my animals last year, some of them conflicting, that I still more than a year later don’t know what to believe. And if that priest truly did have Lizzie and four of my cats, why was I never granted the kindness of being allowed to visit them? There are people in Turners Falls who know the answers to these questions. Church-going “christians” who keep these secrets from me for over a year, despite the pain and grief for me. I want to know how christian that is.

The lyrics I wrote here on this post last year are something I can only glance at, they tear at me so. I was with you, since you were babies, and human cruelty tore it all apart.

(part of the book Stolen Stars)

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