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  • Dickiebird…

    2011 - 05.20

    Dickie Bird

    Twenty five years ago I bought a young cockatiel. I wanted a parrot or a cockatoo but thought I had better start small to see if I could keep a bird alive. I named him Dickie Bird after my father Richard Graham. When Dad was young his nickname was “Dickiebird”.  My dad was a bit of a hellion and so this name fitted this rascally cockatiel as he was also a bit self willed; not at all like the sweet little cockatiels you have seen riding around on shoulders in pet shops. Dickie’s propensity to biting fingers, taking out whole chunks, contributed to his infamy.

    Every morning Dickie’s cheerful songs welcomed in the new day and his repertoire after 25 years was extensive. He was inquisitive and funny and full of life. He welcomed all of our guests and was frequently the center of attention.

    Dickie survived four major moves and myriad comings and goings of other animal friends. He sang at the top of his lungs through every band rehearsal, and competed with me when I met with clients to help them choose music for an event. He loved his big cage, his toys, and his organic food.

    A few weeks ago Dickie began feeling his age. He became a little crabby and slept a little longer. He only wanted certain foods and snoozed through his morning songs. When someone is with you for 25 years, they are a part of your life, your breath, your love.

    Dickiebird died in my arms this morning as we sat in the New Mexico sunshine together. I let him bite me without complaint because I knew it would be the last time. After taking two healthy chunks from my finger because I wasn’t holding him exactly the way he wanted to be held, his little brave heart just gave out. A bit of light has left my life today.

    Thank you for all the years of joy you gave me, Dickiebird. Fly free, my little friend.

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