This is our pet cockatoo ~ Bucknuckle B Knucklehead Esq. or "Bucko" or "Mi Lad", as we fondly call him. Well, we think it's a 'he'. No-one's sure. Not even the vet. Mi Lad crash landed in our front garden one March morning. One of his legs were broken. Catherine the tabby was most inquisitive, and Mi Lad hop-hopped through the golden cypress trees, attempting to escape her potentially bacteria-infested feline teeth. We were quick to rescue him and later travelled the dirt road to our friendly (and extremely funny!) Polish vet.
The Machinist painstakingly crop-fed Mi Lad for two months or more, as he couldn't eat seeds, or peck off fruit; his diagnosis was 'beak and feather' disease and wild birds with this malady usually don't last a year.
Mi Lad will be two this December. He can speak English and he can act like a professional (he limps when you watch him and hops confidently when he thinks you're not watching him). He has spent the winter inside the house with us, and I'll wager he hates being back out in his cage now that it is springtime. We have to pass his cage as we enter the workshop. If one of the girls pass his cage, he whimpers. On the other hand, if one of the boys pass his cage, he squawks. When we are gardening, he follows us around.... intent on ruining as many plants as he can.
During coffee break, there's much chatter and laughter and messing about. Mi Lad can hear the commotion and he calls to us, so we let him out of his cage. He dodges metal shavings with much agility and precision, despite his disability.
Today was no different.
Favourite Son had made refreshments. We were watching Mi Lad amble around the workshop floor, with a pompous and indifferent air, despite the other pets who sat around watching him. The Machinist tilted his head to one side, pensively. "He doesn't look ill or anything, does he? He doesn't act like he's sick. You wouldn't think...."
Explosions of Toby's Estate*tm Coffee showered the concrete, and faces creased with laughter. After a while, the Middle Child managed "Not unless you were an outsider!"