One day my sister and I were playing outside when our dad, whom I call Daniel, came out and yelled in a scary dad voice “Girls! Get in the car. We’re going to pick up a surprise.”
My sister and I got in the car and immediately began poking at one another because that’s what all good siblings do in cars. Daniel growled and enacted the dreaded ‘quiet time’. We silently glared at one another for the rest of the hour drive.
When we got to his friend’s house we walked into the backyard. There was a large Aviary back there with shrieking dinosaur-esk sounds emanating from within it. That’s when Daniel turned us and said “Surprise girls. I’m getting you a bird.” These weren’t your average run of the mill Birds, these we’re wild cockatiels that had never been handled before. My sister Tess was terrified and latched onto Daniel’s waist. I was skeptical… as usual.
Daniel walked over to the Aviary door, looked to my little sister and said “Tess pick one out.” He tried to extend the abnormally long limb containing her hand towards the vortex of raging and wild cockatiels. Tess let out a squeak and continued clinging to him. I think he was finally realized how freaked out she was.
He managed to scrape her off his body and place her in a corner of the Aviary, “Fine… I’ll do it” he declared. He looked over at me, “George! Ready the pillowcase.” He then walked towards the whirlwind of beaks and claws and snatch a bird out of the air mid-flight. “This one!” he yelled. He threw the bird into the pillow case that I was holding and I quickly sealed the bag.
The bird tried to fly in a tornado pattern within the pillowcase. I held it at arm’s length so as not to get viciously beaked through the thin fabric. Daniel walk towards the exit, scooped up my sister, and we walked back out towards the car. My sister and I sat in the back seat during the long drive home, the pillowcase and the raging bird sat between us. When we made it back to the house Daniel got an intense look on his face, he handed me one leather glove and said, “George… it’s your responsibility to tame it. Do not let it climb on your head.”
I spent the next seven hours in the bathroom with the bird violently attacking me and my leather glove. It puffed up to 10 times its normal size and was constantly letting out shrieks that were more akin to a velociraptor than a common bird. This became my routine over the next couple days; I was determined to succeed.
After what felt like months of effort that left me covered in beak and claw marks the bird finally trusted me. I was ecstatic and proud that I kept the winged beast off my head as instructed. I scooped the bird up onto my finger and held her high. I let out a war cry of victory which attracted my little sister. She peaked her head around the corner into the bathroom to witness the fruits of my labor. Tess extended a limb in my direction; she wanted to hold the bird.
The deed was done and the bird was tame. I transferred the bird to my shoulder and handed Tess the leather glove, now riddled with holes. She steeled her mind was ready to bond with the bird… the bird we named Chiclet.