When I was about 10, I had a parakeet. He was blue. He was pretty. He was stupid. I named him Finnegan. Because that was the name of a parakeet my grandmother had once. And because I was an unimaginative child, I couldn’t think of anything else.
I made it my life’s mission to teach that bird to talk. I tried. And tried. I pushed learning my times tables aside to teach this bird how to talk. That’s why I don’t know my “8’s” to this day. He never learned. He never tweeted either. Not to be confused with Twitter. It didn’t take long before I realized that Finnegan was depressed. I should have figured that out when he was cowering in the corner of the bird cage at the pet store and wasn’t playing with any of the other parakeets.
One day, I decided to clean out his cage in the garage. I don’t know why. Maybe I figured if I got bird poop and chewed up seed shells on the floor I wouldn’t have to clean it up? I asked my brothers ever so nicely to not open the garage door while I was in there. Boys being boys, they did what they wanted to do. And opened it anyway.
Finnegan took this opportunity to run for dear life. So off into the wild he went. Free as a bird. Literally. Out into the big open sky only to be breakfast for some eagle or raccoon. I threw myself on the ground and started screaming. I screamed and cried as if someone had forced their way into our home and was killing all the members of my family with a butter knife. I was absolutely, completely and entirely devastated. My first heartbreak. The day my dear pet parakeet left me.
Every day for a week, I went outside and called out his name. “Finnegan, oh Finnegan, come back home.” I was pathetic with a capital “P.” It didn’t work. He never came back. It took me a good 2 years to get over that one. Seriously. I probably should have had some therapy.
After I was done being sad, I got angry. Angry that he didn’t appreciate all that he had. A warm house, food, water, a mirror, a loving and caring “mother.” I kept saying to myself, “yeah, well I wonder what Finnegan is saying to himself now? Huh? ‘oh what have I done? why did I leave? I’m cold.’ Too late now, isn’t it, Finnegan. You damn ingrate.”
Umm, yeah. Therapy may have done me good. Think it’s too late?
This writing prompt was brought to you by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop