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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

View From The Fence

Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Some things are just meant to be, or so my youngest son tells me. He has been begging for a pet bird for almost a year now. His father and I have maintained we didn't need a bird, saying they're messy and loud, not to mention a lot of trouble.Every time he earns some money the topic is again broached. So far we've managed to stand firm, that is until this last weekend when a pet cockatiel literally knocked on our door.Yes, you read that correctly -- he knocked on the door. I was reading in my living room when I heard a bird chirping. I didn't pay much attention but noticed it continued to get louder. All of a sudden I heard a tapping on the French doors behind me, and when I turned around to look, there was a bird pecking on the window.At first I thought it was just an ordinary bird that had flown in on the porch. But then I realized that wasn't the case. I called for my oldest son to come and look and he and I went out onto the porch. I told him to call the bird and see if it would come to him.I'm not sure how you're supposed to call a bird, but his "Here bird, here bird" didn't sound quite right. So I instructed him to whistle to him (or her -- how are you supposed to tell?). I never really thought it would work, but the next thing we knew the bird had flown onto his shoulder and appeared ready to join the family.We've had stray dogs and cats dropped off at our house, and once we even had three horses appear in the front yard, but a bird knocking on the door seemed a little hard to comprehend.One of my good friends told me something like this could happen only at my house, and she's right.Not being equipped for a bird, we had to make do the best we could. A laundry basket turned upside down over newspaper made a fine home the first night. Of course as soon as my son saw the bird he immediately started making plans. There was no rest until we went to the pet store and bought a bird cage, as well as food. True to form for my luck, the small, cheap cages wouldn't do for a bird this size. It ended up costing me almost $50 to see to the necessities of our new pet.The bird now has a name and has taken up residence in a brand new condominium of a bird cage in my son's room. He's convinced he has received an early Christmas present.Spoil sport that I am, I've made numerous attempts to find the bird's true home. The call to the neighbors down the road who own pet birds proved futile and the pet store informed me they hadn't lost any birds.When I mentioned I was going to write about our unusual incident my son was very upset. "Please don't do that," he begged. "Someone will claim him."My neighbor said she thought the bird was a "gift from above" and we should just accept it as such. She too seemed to think I was a big old meanie for trying to find his real home.Even I have to accept that perhaps if a bird literally knocks on your door after you have been wishing for one for months, it could be a sign.My son is crossing his fingers no one will claim his new friend. He has carried the bird on his shoulder since he arrived, and I found him asleep with the bird on his chest last night.While I know my son will be upset if the real owners call to claim their pet, we will be happy to return him to his owner if he can be identified; he has unique markings that should make him identifiable. We will ask the owners to reimburse the cost of the cage and food we had to buy to keep him safe if he is claimed.The bird hasn't talked since he arrived, but I can't guarantee he won't have a new vocabulary when he's returned. "Please don't give him back" is a phrase I've heard repeated over and again since the bird arrived. We won't be responsible if it is one he has learned to repeat.