Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The Budgie Exodus of Mile End

The day was quite performative.
But there’s lots of other news. For example, the Mile End is experiencing a Budgie Exodus.

On a poster on a telephone pole:

Perdu slash Lost. A little lovely blue-breasted budgie named Cloud. Her white wings are speckled with black. Have you seen her? Are all budgies named Cloud? My sister had a budgie named Cloud when I was in grade three and she was in grade six. As a child, I was somewhat afraid of birds. I’d cover my head whenever they were let out of their cages, terrified they’d poop on me. Or worse, that they’d stick their weird feet on my shoulders. Birds have very odd feet. Birds, hamsters, possibly ferrets. The Weird Feet Club. You have weird feet too. (Just then, I was talking to myself.)
Anyways, the night before Remembrance Day in grade three, my sister’s budgie Cloud had taken rather ill. Sticky feathers, diarrhea. Whatever happens to sick budgies, Cloud had all of it. One of the worst things about having pets is having to put them down when they are dying. Totally devastating. I guess that’s the good thing about birds, hamsters and other odd-footed creatures. They usually die on their own.
My sister did not want her beloved bird to die and so she and my mother joined voices and sang to the ailing Cloud. Their song choice was a great big tear jerker. Edelweiss, from the Sound of Music. Perfect for a dying white budgie.

“Small and white,
Clean and bright,
You look happy to meet me.”

I lay in bed and listened to them for what felt like hours. Despite their efforts, in the morning, Cloud was dead. More weeping by Mother and Sister. I was rather neutral about the whole thing. I took up weeping later in life. Grade five or six or seven.

We decided to bury Cloud in a shoe box in our backyard. I generously offered my multi-coloured parrot puppet to put in the box and keep Cloud company. The parrot puppet did not have feet. Cloud’s funeral involved more mourning renditions of Edelweiss.
“Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow.
Bloom and grown forever.”

And there in a shoebox in the ground behind our house on Mary Street, Cloud rested in peace.  

Twenty-three years later, similar budgies face similarly life-threatening perils. Cloud the Budgie is lost. Her picture is all over the cool streets of my cool neighbourhood. A couple afternoons ago, I bought a whole bunch of carrots at the Fruiterie de Mile End. The carrots were organic. On the way home, I ate them right out of the bag. As I walked down Bernard Street, I saw a poster written in a thick black marker, perhaps a Sharpie.

A phone number of someone who sadly got stuck in the 438’s.

I got catchy new Montreal digits on Monday. Got in with the 514's. Besides trying to reunite Cloud with her owner, it was the day's greatest accomplishment.
A chance to save the day. What a thrill! I went to the next nearest telephone pole to find Cloud’s poster. Shockingly, all of the slips with the telephone number had already been taken. How had seven people found Cloud already? So much for being a hero today.
Then on Monday, I came across Cloud’s poster on another telephone pole. This one still had a couple of slips with the owner’s phone number on them. I texted her my picture of the DID YOU LOSE YOUR BUDGIE POSTER.
Cloud’s owner texted back that alas, the ad was not for her budgie. She fears Cloud is long gone by now. But she very kindly offered to foster the found budgie.
“there are a lot of escaped pet birds flying around montreal this year,” Cloud’s owner texted. “it’s mind boggling!” She asked me to let her know “if anyone tells you they lost their green/yellow budgie (she’s not tame though so I doubt that’ll be the case, she’s definitely been neglected).
Friends and Fans of Mile End and Beyond: keep your ears open for the green and yellow budgie’s owner, keep your eyes open for Cloud, and if you have a bird of your own, keep your windows closed.

The End.

A lovely lady lent me her sunglasses at Olimpico
The Exuberant Bodhisattva
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor

All the Lonely People, Rainbows, the Big Black Dog and Sex
Performative Crying in Alleys
Obituary: Eliot, the Big Black Dog

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