August 2002 Magazine
The fids scarfed down the last of the birdy bread this morning, so I had to make more this evening. Their ESP must have informed them of my intentions, and within seconds both fids were on my shoulder, supervising. Before long, they were skating down my arms to the tabletop to inspect the ingredients more closely.
Chester decides the eggs needed to be brooded, and spends a few minutes neurotically rolling them around on the table, trying to mount them. I guess it never occured to her that the egg was the size of her whole body. Meanwhile, Sunny has decided that the pellets really shouldn't go into the bread. She drags the bag off and pushes it off the table, victoriously eyeing the floor as pellets scatter.
Quickly I add the ingredients to the bowl, hoping to get them all in before I lose an egg or a jar of baby food. Sunny hops up onto the side of the bowl and chirps loudly, criticizing my stirring technique. Chester's eyes get as wide as saucers when she sees that I've cracked the egg. She runs over to the bowl, screams at me, and then proceeds to knock the jar of cayenne pepper over and track it all over the table.
The two have decided that pellets are the epitome of evil - I find nothing but the pellets, stripped clean of all the bread, left in the bowls after they've finished with the bread. I decide to get crafty, and pour some pellets in a small glass to soak them - defeating their conspiracy to rid the world of pellets. Chester decides to make a liar out of me, and anxiously runs down my arm and starts chowing down on the pellets. I soak them anyway, and scoop the mash into the bowls.
I have decided to make two batches - one veggie-flavored, and one fruit-flavored. As I'm spreading the veggie batch into the cake pan, Sunny jumps down and runs over to the other bowl. She decides that baby food is the best thing she's ever tasted, and then decides it looks better plastered on the walls, table, and her face than in the bowl.
But the real trouble breaks out when I open the can of whole grain oatmeal, which I sprinkle over the top of the bread before I bake it. Both birds are on my arm and hand, and they fight to see who can get stuck in this can first. Sunny wins. She climbs into the can, only half full, and gorges herself on oats. She's only a bit ticked off when she figures out she's stuck. Knowing that the can is a trap, she calls to Chester, who promptly runs down and gets stuck herself. Sunny struts off and perches on the side of the cake pan while I try to get Chester out of the can long enough for me to spread the oats on top of the bread.
Finally, I can mix the other batch and put the first one in the oven. I try to put the second batch in the refrigerator while the first is cooking, but Sunny won't have any of that. She flies down to the bowl which is now sitting on the top shelf in the refrigerator, and refuses to leave it. Each time I reach in to get her, she hisses and Chester nips me in the ear. Finally I get her out, but not without a dirty look.
I set the timer on the microwave, and both birds are at full attention. Twenty minutes later, the timer goes off, and both birds immediately fly back out to the kitchen. One might think we've been through this before. Now it's a struggle to keep them out of the hot pan of bread while I cut a few pieces to pacify them. Again, I crumble the pieces into their bowls and pop them in the freezer for a quick cool down. Chester is supervising this, and believes that she needs the bread right this very second, nipping me every time I check the bowls and find the bread still too hot.
Finally, I'm able to give them the bread. As I'm carrying the bowls back to their cage, both birds are skating down my arms again and are diving headfirst into the bread before I can get it into the cage. They spend the next ten minutes throwing out the pellet chunks they find and trading bowls to see who got the most peas. After a while, the frenzy dies down, and my two snuggle bugs are back, crops full, feathers fluffed, contentedly grinding their beaks. At least someone appreciates my cooking!
Winged Wisdom Note: Janet's Texas flock includes two cockatiel hens and a young Congo African Grey hen. Her interest in birds has been lifelong, and she strives to learn everything she can about parrots and educate others in how to care for them.
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