Roger belonged to my brother. He was a great little bird. A budgie of wonderful character and sweetness. He managed to weld himself into our hearts almost immediately. While we were at school, Roger waited patiently in a cage in the lounge, but when we were home, Roger explored the house. If he wasn't perched on my brother's shoulder, nibbling his ear, or roaming around his desk, nipping the edges of homework, he was having adventures on his own, muttering and clicking to himself, poking his beak into anything and everything. He was a television addict - in a manner of speaking. Making his way across the carpet in the TV room he’d hop up onto the wall plug, and then, using his claws and beak haul himself up the cord, traverse the back of the TV, sprint across the top of the set and then set about climbing the aerial. This remember, were the days of heavy, boxy TV sets and bunny ear aerials. A long time ago. The top of the aerial was Roger’s favourite perch. He liked to bounce right at the tip. The bizarre thing was the reception was so much better when Roger was up there.
My brother’s green racing bike was another of Roger’s delights. For his own safety - Roger’s not my brother’s - my brother would tie a string around Roger’s ankle and then the two of them would head out. Roger loved it. He’d dig his claws into my brother’s shoulder, spread his wings and lean into the wind. He never tried to fly away, not once. When they came home, Roger would be ruffled but chirpy. Quick as wink, he’d scoot up the aerial and sit there bouncing happily, preening himself back into pristine sleekness. Poor old Roger was the victim of poisoned bird seed. We all missed him.
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