Saturday, October 03, 2009
Macheath wasn't for sale. He was the meanest, most misanthropic creature in the pet shop. Even the love bird who'd been half blinded by a mean customer (who sprayed cleaning fluid in his face) was more trusting.
I met Macheath the summer I worked there. Both his cage and his play perch were marked with "I bite!" signs. He "only" a Severe Macaw- about half the size of the more common ones. That didn't stop him from attacking anyone foolish enough get too close. Even the owner of the shop couldn't handle him.
Macheath was cute. And curious. His favorate game was watching me sweep around his pearch. As soon as I put down the broom he'd swing his beak through his dish and scatter more food for me to sweep. Was he trying to be funny? Trying to help? Was he trying to make sure I'd stick around?
I talked to him each day and he gradually let me get closer. I knew better than to put my finger near his head. Years earlier another macaw showed me why this was a bad idea. Then one day he rolled his head forward and puffed out his feathers. That's bird language for "You're my friend. Scratch my head please." I couldn't believe it. The mean bird who hated everyone was letting me pet him!