May 25 2009
I had her, but what I hadn’t counted on was that she had me… as you shall see.
When I got home this evening I checked the budgie trap and saw that the birds had eaten all the food in the seed cups, both inside and outside the cage. Excellent! I refilled the seed cups and went indoors.
Just before dusk Budgie arrived to feed as she usually does. She perched on the outside seed cup so I walked up to the cage, keeping my head low and talking to her as I came. When I got close she flew into the cage. Oh my! I closed the door. I had her.
She was immediately frantic, flying wildly inside the cage, poking at the corners, back and forth, back and forth, trying to find a way out. I took the cage down, set it on the back deck and sat nearby, waiting for her to calm down. My cat watched from the window but Budgie was oblivious to everything but the possibility of escape. She continued to beat against the cage.
I was beginning to feel bad and I was doing a lot of thinking. Budgie had had a taste of outdoor life and already felt safer in my neighborhood than in the cage. She had been having the time of her life though it meant she’d probably die young and abruptly. The wild birds had accepted her and I could hear them making alarm calls as she struggled inside the cage. That made me feel even worse.
If I was her, what would I want? I have to tell you that I love the outdoors. Today I spent the whole day hiking at the Clarion River. If every day of my life could be as beautiful and every day included time outdoors I would be happy even if it shortened my life. I decided I would rather die suddenly and happy than be stuck indoors.
I looked at Budgie and asked her what she thought. She wanted out. I put the cage back on the branch. I took her picture in the dusk. And then I opened the door and let her fly free.
We both learned something today. Budgie learned not to trust me and I learned that I prefer to see her outside my window.
p.s. Thanks to Veronica Snyder for loaning me the cage and to all of you for your helpful suggestions. I have learned a valuable lesson, though it’s not the one I expected to learn.
(photo of Budgie, temporarily captured in my backyard, taken at dusk with my cell phone)