While I was living in my first purchased home, I purchased two blue parakeets and named them Pete and Repete. They were quite the characters and happily filled my home with their chirps and whistles. Pete never really became hand-trained, but Repete was a pro at it. So at least once a week, he had the privilege of being cage free for a few hours.
When he was cage free, his favorite spot was my large front window. He would cling to the curtain and report to Pete everything happening in the big world out there. Pete would ask questions, and Repete answered (and added a few comments of his own).
One day Pete didn’t talk much and seemed to be a little down. He drank water and ate his seeds, but he just wasn’t his perky, smart-ass self. When I came home from work, you guessed it; he was laying on the bottom of the cage, and Repete was making a cooing sound I never heard him make before.
Pete was given a decent, shoebox burial in the front yard under the maple tree. Repete was never the same. He would still fly to the curtain on his cage free time, but he would only warble once as if he was waiting for Pete’s answer.
I tried getting another parakeet, but Repete just didn’t take to him so he went back to the store. I tried the mirror trick next. Pete would “talk” to it, but never got an answer. It also didn’t help him with his grooming and preening like Pete had done. I had one blue parakeet.
Then my life circumstances changed dramatically because I joined the Army. Funny thing about the Army when you live in barracks you can’t have any pets. So, Pete went to live with my parents with hope that someday after two years of training, I would be able to reclaim my bird. On my first leave, I flew back home.
As soon as I opened the door, I heard Repete, cackling, chirping and warbling! What miracle had my parents done to my bird! My Mom had hung Repete in the Kitchen near a window that had a bird feeder right outside. Repete was talking to his new feathered friends. I asked my Mom how she had thought of such a brilliant idea?
“Well,” she said, “At first I had hung his cage in the big bay window out front thinking he would like to look around. But he jdidn’t perk up. Then a pane broke and I moved him to the kitchen so he wouldn’t get chilled. The next day when I removed the cover, he saw the birds and started “talking.” I remembered what you said about him being hand-trained, so I opened the cage door and he hopped out to perch on the window sill. He was chirping and yakking away. I think some of the wild birds “talked” with him too. Soon he could “talk” chickadee and sparrow songs. He got really excited when the hummingbirds came to their feeder. He not only chirped but “danced” too.”
Repete had reverted to the happy, little parakeet that I loved. On one of my visits home, I noticed Repete’s cage was gone and feared the worst. Mom told me that she had taken Repete to the nursing home where she worked.
Back in 1975 while I was in 4-H, my Mom started an annual visit with puppies, kittens, kid goats, whatever animal she could get a hold of. Our club would have the animals outside and take inside the especially tame ones for the bed-bound patients. The way those faces lit up when a puppy was put in their hands and started to lick them. It brought a smile to my face too!
Anyway, my Mom had brought Repete as part of the annual visit. The patients fell in love with him. He would fly around to the patients and chirp and chatter all day. So Repete got a new loving home and brought joy to everyone.
During my nine years in the military, I lived in barracks the whole time, so I never got the chance to bring Repete back into my life. But boy what a character he was!