Sunday, April 21, 2013


   One evening several years ago, I skipped down the back stairwell and exited into the alley to make a last minute beer run.  I prefer the alleys to streets mainly due to the peace and quiet.  Even with the dumpsters and random trash strewn about, it's still generally cleaner than the sidewalks, littered with various McDonald's wrappers, broken bottles, and dog shit.  Plus,  I'm able to stick to the shadows and not have to walk by any obnoxious tourists.

   As I started down the backstreets of the 1300 block, I slowly approached a bird cage held up on a stand at about eye level.  As I got closer, I noticed a couple cats prowling around and realized that there was still a bird in there.  It was a parakeet of some sort and it hopped about from perch to perch, cocking it's head left and right, seeming to eye me up.  I looked around and there was no one to be seen.  I've never been big on having birds as pets.  I always thought it sad that these creatures of flight be relegated to a prison for the rest of their lives.  Even if it was a pet, what kind of person would just leave it behind their apartment building in an alley full of stray cats?  I looked left and right,  lifted up the tiny cage door and the parakeet hopped to the ledge of the door, looked at me...and flew away into the night.  I know it may have been a death sentence, sending a domesticated, non-native bird into the wastelands of Miami, but I thought if that was me, I'd rather have a few awesome days of just flying my heart out until I die then live in a cage for the rest of my life, pecking at a bell to amuse the person who cleans my shitty newspaper off the bottom of my tiny world.  I smiled and continued on my journey.  When I got back to my apartment, I recanted the whole tale to my wife over a couple of cold, frosty ones.

   The next afternoon, my wife and I were in the apartment and noticed this non-stop chirping coming from our balcony.  We went to the sliding door and there was a parakeet sitting on my railing.  I told her, "That's the parakeet I freed last night!".  "Fuck Off!", she replied.  I slowly opened the door and crept closer to the bird.  It didn't move at all.  It just continued to look me over in that jittery bird manner.   My wife was astounded.  It was the bird from the alley.  I held out my finger as an invitation, thinking it would take off, but instead it hopped on, staring at me, and twitched it's head this way and that.  I couldn't believe it.  My wife grabbed the video camera and we recorded it.  She held out her finger and the bird jumped right on.  He chirped a bit and then suddenly just took off towards the bay.  That was the last I ever saw of my feathered friend.  I believe he stopped by to say "Thank You" before he headed off for the Keys to live it up.  It would be quite a distance for those little wings, but he probably needed the exercise anyways. 

No comments:

Post a Comment