Thursday, March 25, 2010

One more thing.....

I think I should clarify something about living with a wild creature, lest I mislead. It requires a good-sized commitment. Taking on the responsibility for the life of another being, domesticated or wild is not a small thing, but in the case of it being a wild creature, you must maintain the relationship daily. This is especially true if your wild friend can do physical damage. When Tinker becomes emotionally aroused in some way, he doesn't just have and emotion, he becomes the emotion. This can happen quite quickly. Just ask Roy Horn, or the woman who had her face torn off by a chimpanzee, or more recently the trainer who lost her life to a killer whale (Well, I guess you can't ask her). Even when you have years of reading these creatures, they can surprise you, or you may just get a little too complacent.

I'm sporting a rather nasty bite on my upper lip this week because Tinker got pissed at me for trimming a toenail. He got in my face, making threats in the way that cockatoos do, and I didn't take it seriously enough. Next thing I knew I had a gaping hole in my lip. Tinker didn't become angry - he BECAME ANGER! After the damage was done he figured he had made his point and it was over as far as he was concerned. Apparently what I was saying to him at the time was not conciliatory enough to suit him.

At this point many would have blown up at the bird I suppose. My husband would have made soup out of him long ago over episodes like these. If I were to retaliate though, I would make it into something that would be very hard to get past. I tell him that was a nasty thing to do and that he hurt me far more than anything I did to him by trimming a toenail. I can tell by his reaction that he understands what I am telling him, and he will come along, hang way out from my shoulder and look at his handiwork ("Wow, I did that?") and be somewhat apologetic. But his attitude toward me about the whole incident is more like, "Well, don't provoke me again."

I do find it interesting that he does realize to some extent what he has done and even seems sorry, as he comes up and lays his bare eye patch against my lip. That is as close to "I'm sorry" as I get from him. After that it is "Well, get over it. Move on."

So when strong emotions come out, so does the wildness take over. But I think it makes life interesting, and flesh heals. Thank goodness he isn't a tiger!But don't take on a wild creature for a companion unless you are willing to make a big commitment and suffer a few consequences. I wouldn't trade the experience for the world, but lots of parrots end up at rescue centers because people didn't know what they were getting into.


  1. Not quite. Beeper is still here - ornery little bugger. I just haven't been inspired to write about her yet.