Saturday, September 18, 2010


Ooh. Lookit. Blogging from my phone.

So. This post is for Ute. I'm pretty sure I've blogged it before, but I feel the need to share it again.

My Dad used to breed budgies for show. He must have had thousands of them over the years. I remember her had two side by side avairies at one stage. Each about 20 or 30m long. One for boys, one for girls. Plus his breeding room. I'm soo used to those little birds. Anyway. He bred all types over the years. Blue, green, grey, yellow, ones with funky hairstyles. In the later years he bred yellow ones. I thought they were boring, but he liked them.

This story is about a little white one he had, when I was about 10. He had a mate who swore black and blue, that If you fed a bird exclusively on beetroot leaves, it would turn red. So he got the beaut idea that if you take a white budgie, you can spray it with red food dye, and get a red bird. So that's what he did. Took a lovely little light grey bird, mixed up a spay bottle of red food colouring, and spray painted the bird. Dried poor birdie, then applied another coat. Repeat until bottle empty.

The next night he took pinkie to the bird show. Everyone there was in on the joke. And it went down rather well.

We had pinkie for about a year after that. Her colour faded over about a month. Her wing tips were the last to go. One night there was a massive wind storm, and the lock on dads aviary came undone. He lost all of his birds from that year, with the exception of one runty little grey thing.

Shame too.he had one bird with excellent potential.

Aggro was a bird dad gave to his mum. He was white. The bird. Although dad was white too. Nan wanted one she could teach to talk. Originally, aggro was named kimba, for the white lion. But we found that he was really a she. And true to form, she was aggressive. Hence the name. Shortly after nan and grandpa moved down to live with us, dad re acquired aggro to use as a breeder. and she was a fantastic mum too.

Guts was mums bird. He was a mop. A genetic deformity that causes extremely long feathers, and a short life span. he was a brilliant dark blue. Because of his condition, his mother decided to end his life. Which, according to nature, is what is to be done. She should spend her time raising young that would survive, right?

Dad interrupted her. And managed to save the poor bugger. her was a bloody mess. Literally. He had half his scalp chewed off and suffered brain damage. My dad, being the softie that he is, child not being himself to kill the poor fighter. So he saved his life instead. Kept him in a heat box, and hand fed him.

Guts was aptly named. He was always hungry. And he'd eat anything that would fit in his beak. He used to sit on mums shoulder and nibble her ears. He'd get out and run around the floor, shitting everywhere. God he was cheeky. On top of having thee mop defect, as a result of his injury he always had one foot splayed out behind him, and he dragged the wing on the same side.

After a few months, dad took him out to the aviary. We'd go down every afternoon to pay with guts, and another mop that ran around the floor with him. We'd pick him up and carry him on our shoulders. Occasionally, he'd come up and spend the night at the house, nibbling mums ears.

I remember the day he died. I remember mum holding him in her outstretched hand, sobbing. She had always helped dad look after the birds, but guts was the only one she'd ever attached to.