Acquired: Pet store
Burlington, Vermont, United States
Posted Aug 09, 2014
For my eighth birthday I awoke to find a cloth covered bird cage with a single parakeet inside. I was excited because I knew that parakeets, like parrots, can be taught to talk. Other than that, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with my new friend. He couldn’t come out of his cage and fly around or go down the stairs in a plastic ball like my sister’s hamster. I named him Jackie, fed him his seeds, and tried to make him say things, to no avail.
Soon after, my sister got a parakeet named Samantha to keep Jackie company. Someone later told us that having two parakeets in a cage meant that the birds wouldn’t learn to talk at all, and they were right. Our parakeets spent their days squawking, flying back and forth, and making me feel extremely guilty about their captivity. Birds should be free, I remember thinking. Sometimes, they’d escape and we’d chase them down with pillowcases. But we never bonded, the parakeet and I. I just looked at him, changed his cage, and marveled when bird seeds started sprouting up out of the bathroom sink drain.
I did love my parakeet, but would never want to get one again. Birds should be free. Plus, he didn’t even talk.