WWSP's "The Alternate Boot!"

Monday, January 16, 2017

Walking Backwards & in Circles - A Sign of the Times?

Birds. We have birds. We live with birds. We are bird people. We have two cockatiels, two budgies, and we are "babysitting" 6 little finches (2 society finches and 4 zebra finches) for a few months for a family member.

Lots of tweeting and chattering around here. We love birds. Descendants of the dinosaurs don't you know? One of the cockatiels has lived with us for nearly 20 years. He is another essential family member. My best friend in the world.

One of the zebra finches has come down with a mystery illness. We put him in isolation next to the big cage for the finches. He can't hold his head up. He sits on the floor of the cage most of the day. It seems like he has some kind of paralysis or something.

Of course we took to the Google. We are thinking that he either badly bonked his head, or he has a nasty viral infection, or an inner ear problem. Supposedly pretty much untreatable. He can move around - he can twirl around in circles or walk backwards. He does eat. He is lively. I give him fresh water via an eyedropper frequently throughout the day.

We have decided to name him Beckett, after Samuel Beckett, the great Irish Playwright, who often wrote about characters dealing with impossible situations. So now our little Beckett has become a cause, a mission. Every day, we check in to see if little Beckett is still carrying on.

He has a buddy. Another little finch who looks like an unlikely combination of zebra & society finch. So he's a little hybrid bird, a boundary-crosser, we've named him Marley, after the great boundary-crossing musician Bob Marley.

So all day, little Marley looks over Beckett. They chit-chat back and forth with each other. It is a beautiful thing, two little birds communicating with each other in the unlikeliest of circumstances.

So, of course, Beckett has become sort of a symbol, or emblem of our times - spinning in circles, always going backwards.  Not sure, every day we look for signs that Beckett is getting better. Is he a bit stronger today? Eating more frequently with more gusto? Standing up a bit? Did he just fluff his feathers?

We take heart that he is eating, drinking water, breathing, talking to his buddy... one day... at a time... one more day... alive... maybe a bit stronger, right? Maybe? Maybe? 

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