…Bobby, a blue and white budgie that I remember from childhood – he could say his name, address and telephone number (presumably in case he got lost?) and ‘beak-planted’ onto the floor of the cage from his perch one lunchtime when my brother and I were listening to Listen with Mother on the radio. We buried him with great sorrow and solemnity in the garden – his casket a no longer required Berlei Bra Box.
B is for ‘Bubble & Squeak’ – several sets of gerbils that lived with us for a time that all had the same name because my brother wasn’t that creative in the name department. Any visitors to our house had to be careful where they walked in our garden as the ‘headstones’ indicating where they had been ‘finally rested’ eroded over a period of time.
B is for Brenda who hated rodents with a passion and wouldn’t enter our house unless the gerbils were either back in their cage or playing in an old yellow baby bath. Unfortunately she didn’t realise they could hop out of the bath and it invariably meant she clambered onto the nearest chair (no mean feat wearing stilettos) and screamed the place down until we found them, picked them up by their long tails and put them back in their cage. Ah, memories!!
B is for Boris the parrot. I looked after him for three long weeks when his owner went into hospital. The owner had spent a lot of time at sea in his earlier days and that bird had picked up some very salty language! Boris was a fantastic mimic – he had me dashing to my intercom several times before I realised he was making the buzzer sound. He kept me giggling with his ‘falling off a cliff’ routine. I would say ‘fall of a cliff, Boris’ and he would eagerly respond with ‘Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrggggggh SPLAT’ in a very deep cockney voice. The downside to our brief relationship was his affinity for profane vernacular. It wasn’t long before the other residents in the building were giving me a wide berth as they wondered what uncouth lunatic I had living with me in my flat.
So if you are interested in budgerigars, parakeets, parrots, cockatiels and macaws as pets then head straight to the 636 section in the non-fiction and see what it entails. As for me, I’m going to be choosing my words very carefully with the budgerigar.