Sunday, Sunday by A. K. Buckroth (aka: Andrea Roth)
“Hon, will you go for a walk with me please?” asked the newlywed wife. “I need some exercise but I’d like you to go to the market with me as well. We need milk, and you’ll have to carry that home.”
“Ohoho, you don’t wanna go alone because of that guy that beeped at you the other day,” replied the husband with a grin. “Sure, I’ll go with you but why do I have to carry the milk home? What else are you going to get?”
“A gallon of milk is too heavy for me to carry home. The other things I want to get ̶ a loaf of sourdough bread, large brown eggs, a bag of baby carrots, a stalk of celery and a white onion for chicken soup, along with a jar of chicken bouillon cubes, and some much needed bird seed.”
“What about the chicken?”
“I have that. It’s defrosting in the kitchen sink.”
“Why don’t we just drive over there?” he asked.
“Nope. Walk first. It’s a total of one mile around the block. On the way home, we can stop at the store.”
“Yah, but I know you,” husband said with a cheeky grin and a twinkle in his eye. “You’ll end up getting 15 bags of stuff! We should probably take the wagon.”
“No. I’ll only buy those things I mentioned. Promise.”
“Okay then. Before we go, let me feed Aksamio and Tweety first. It’s close to their dinnertime anyway and I’ll give them the rest of this bird food.”
Agreeing, the wife accompanied her husband from their galley kitchen, down the wide, carpeted hall to their bright, naturally lit 2-car garage. The cockatiels Aksamio and Tweety were loudly heard as the couple approached the heavy wooden man-door leading into the garage. The cockatiels always knew when the humans were coming, together or separately, talking their excited chirp-talk.
“Tweet, tweet,” squeaked Tweety delicately, as she looked up at them. She was cleaning her yellow and white wing feathers, side-to-side, awaiting her feeding. “MWEEP MWEEP,” hollered Aksamio loudly and repetitively as usual. Puffing out his yellow, green and grey feathered chest, he roughly stepped from one bar perch to another like he was aggravated, you humans aren’t moving fast enough could’ve been his haughty reply. The wife found this amazing to watch as Aksamio opened his beak wide as if to speak showing his skinny pink tongue.
“Gosh hon, it bothers me that Aksamio is so loud. He makes me think he’s angry. He’s like this all the time. I don’t think he likes me. He’s better with you, being a man. A man-to-man cock, cock, cockatiel.” She burst out laughing at her own joke.
Her husband smiled widely, a bit of a blush on his cheeks as he opened the wheeled four foot high, two foot wide bird cage and gave the birds fresh water from the garage sink and bird seed from the home-made hardwood, floor-to-ceiling pantry.
“Tweety likes me,” declared the wife. “She’ll climb on my finger when I put it in front of her belly. You wanna see?”
“No, not now if you wanna go for that walk. Let’s go.”
Leaving the garage the way they entered, Tweety softly squeaked as if saying ‘see ya later’ with a mouthful of food. Aksamio? Well, he didn’t give a crap, literally and alliterally. Such differing personalities these two had even though they had been together since they were eggs.
Merrily walking down the street on this warm Sunday in April, the wife heard a familiar “tweet tweet.” Assuming it came from a nearby apartment complex, she whistled in kind. The “tweet tweet, tweet tweet” weakly continued, but she couldn’t see the bird.
“Do you hear that?” she asked her husband. “It sounds like another cockatiel. Maybe over there,” she pointed, continuing to whistle. It responded! “Oh my gosh! I hope it’s okay.”
“It’s fine. I’m sure. It’s probably hungry like our birds.”
Continuing to the grocers, getting everything on the list, some miniature chocolate donuts were included. He likes those. One handled bag for her, the gallon of milk for him to carry, they were able to continue their walk home holding hands.
Curious, they decided to walk on the opposite side of the street, wondering about the bird they heard. Slowly approaching the same area, the tweeting picked up, stronger, louder. “Hon, that bird is calling us. I know it!” she declared.
“How do you know that? How would you know that?” sarcasm covering the husband’s tone of voice.
“I just do” she stated with confidence. “Wait. Give me a minute. Stand still while I whistle and you listen for its response. It will respond.” Doing that, the bird, in fact, did respond.
“It’s close,” he said. Oh my God, look! There it is! In the parking lot. On the ground. That hard top is hot! I gotta go get it, save it.”
“Oh my, she’s beautiful! Okay, be careful climbing over that bright yellow parking lot barrier chain. Don’t move quickly but hurry up! You don’t want to frighten her. Put the milk down.” She rested the groceries on the sidewalk. “Looks like she may have gotten out of her cage and tried to fly away.”
Gently cupping her in both hands, the husband proudly showed his wife, soothingly smoothing its wing feathers, cooing to it at the same time.
With concern, the wife asked “Is there is any blood on it? Any broken feather bones? Talons?”
This white-on-white cockatiel didn’t fight her captor, didn’t peck, or bite, or claw his hands. The wife was momentarily stunned at the gentleness they expressed to each other.
“Nope, it looks fine to me so far. I’ll get a better look when we get home.” Walking steadily and quickly holding this bird close to his heart, the husband made long strides. “I’ll meet you at the house. Grab the grub.”
“Yep, yep,” she hollered to his fast-moving back. “I can’t wait to see her, make sure she’s okay. And don’t put her in the cage with Tweety and Aksamio.”
“Why not?” he turned to ask her. “Nevermind. I’ll put her in the little cage after I get it down from the rafters. She’ll have to stay in the garage sink for a few minutes. That’ll cool off her hot little feet, poor thing.”
Off he went.
Yes, the wife ended up carrying the gallon of milk home with the bag of groceries. This took her longer than she anticipated, the weight of her purchases a bit cumberson.
Finally there, hurriedly placing the groceries inside the entryway, she could hear the birds screaming! All of them! Standing in the garage doorway, her husband was turning around and around, comically, with a butterfly net in one hand trying to coax the white cockatiel off the garage door cables. The bird cried loudly causing the others to participate. It haphazardly flew from one cable to the other, atop storage boxes, down to the floor, then up to a cable again.
“Sh Sh Sh…” the wife started. “Hon. HON! Stop! Stay still. You’re making it and the others nervous. Put your hands down, gently lay down that silly net, and stand still. Leave it be.”
“But but but…” he stammered.
Coaxing him out of the garage with her, Tweety and Aksamio calmed their tempos.
Thirty minutes later, silence ensued. The wife slowly, gently, opened the garage man-door once again. Captivated at seeing this beautiful bird fly around and around the garage, she stood still, in awe of its wondrous wing span. Watching, a few minutes went by before the bird flew to where the other two were housed and sat atop their large metallic cage.
“So, little bird,” the wife spoke to the newcomer. “Are you done showing off? How about if I put you in that smaller cage over there?”
Holding out her arm in confidence, she slowly neared the white bird, placing a finger near its belly. It hopped up onto her finger! Delighted, the wife slowly walked, staring eye-to-eye with the creature, placing her in the smaller nearby cage. Good thing it was handy! As food and water were readied, “whitey” began nibbling seeds and wetting her beak.
“Wow. You did it,” remarked the husband, rather shocked. “Good job.”
Watching this abominably beautiful white cockatiel was astounding. Her temperament became calm and accepting…likeable. She was taken care of. Purposely separated from Tweety and Aksamio, she was able to stay nearby them in their suite to get acquainted.
“Gosh, she’s like a dream come true, you know that?” commented the wife. “Seeing as you saw her first, what would you like to name her?”
“Sunday. Her name will be Sunday because we found her on Sunday.”
“Oh, that’s perfect. I like it.”
“And by the way,” the husband asked, “how did you know she’s a she?”
“I just did. Magic,” she replied with a twinkle in her eye. But really? Male cockatiels have orange cheeks. Aksamio has round orange cheeks whereas Tweety ̶ and now Sunday ̶ do not. Mystery solved.”
Just sharin’. #buckroth