Parrot Night Frights

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I was sitting at my desk at work when an evite found its way to my inbox. Delighting in the contents, I read about the highly anticipated TCU-OU football match up and a fun tailgating event calling my name. When I scanned for the details, my screen stopped on the frame indicating the when (three weeks from now) and the where (my house). I picked my jaw up off of the floor. Corporate communications would have to improve at some point. For now, I had a fifty person event to plan.
The eve before the party, when the house was impeccable, with dishware guarding the territories that would soon be occupied with gourmet egg casseroles, fruit, and French toast. The very last piece of the puzzle was evaporating any trace of the two parrots who normally ‘hung out’ downstairs in the family room. I carefully moved each cage stand, cage, and supplies one at a time into our master bedroom, where they would be forced the reciprocal horror of sleeping with both of us that night.
Fred I wasn’t worried about; he was a seasoned vet. After the passing of my last bird, he spent many a nights by my side as I doted on him and moved him into a new cherished role. But Frieda was green. She’d only been with us for 4 weeks, and her sleep routine consisted of the same thing each night. This new terrain was already throwing her off. I assured them both things would go a whole lot smoother if they would just shut it and enjoy the change of scenery.
At about 11pm, when I had conquered all I could for the night, I retreated to the bedroom, covered their cages with the familiar cotton sheet, turned the lights out, and fell fast asleep. When my bunkmate made it back upstairs over an hour later, he walked to his side of the bed in the dark and dropped his phone on the nightstand.
As if it were a gunshot, Frieda went off on cue. I woke up to blustery wings flittering and hitting the sides of the cage. She was engulfed by sheer pandemonium, and the dark made it impossible for her to come to terms with her mobile enemy.
“Turn on the light!” I yelled, suddenly alert in a maternal panic.
The light was on. Frieda seemed to be wrapping up her chaotic spell. But Fred- Fred was just getting started. Of all birds, he should know better. He chose to exercise his full range of motion- running at full speed into each side of the cage, flying into the top corners, liable to cut his own wing off.
“Fred!” “Frieda!” I yelled. “Calm down!”
But it was no use. I flung the sheet off of their cages to display one bird who was already back to status quo (Frieda) and one bird who was hysterical (Fred). I opened his cage and clutched him close, trying to understand why he couldn’t see that everything was just fine in the light.
When I uncovered my hand, he did something astounding. That little bird, who I was just sure could register the safety of our house, flew directly vertical into the ceiling. I hear a loud thud, and couldn’t believe his stupidity. We scrambled to get to the light switch panel as he headed for the fan. But he didn’t learn his lesson from bump #1. Freddy Mac revved up and took yet another northbound dive into the ceiling, this time, skidding across the ceiling the way a rock would skip over water.
Verifiably banged up, I managed to capture him and return him to his cage, next to his (already) sleeping girlfriend.
I spent the next hour analyzing what their conversation must have looked like:
Frieda: What was that? What was THAT!? We’re going to die!!!!
Fred: Oh calm down diva, I’ve been through this rodeo before.
Frieda: We’re doomed! It must be a raven!
Fred: Wait, what? What’s that you said? What the heck!? BAAGGHGHGHGH!
The four of us were never so relieved to leave that moment in the past. I was reminded, yet again, why it is not socially acceptable to leave your parrots out for new company. Although I considered the alternative…how many events would we be hosting if we did?

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