The Ladies Page

| July/August 1962

Country Echoes

MAE BABER, R.D.2, Brandon, Wisconsin


The old saving, 'Better To Have Loved And Lost Than Never To Have Loved At All' is probably one of our better known maxims. We, as a family agree, it is better to have lost a parakeet than to have never have owned one at all. To have sheltered an interesting parakeet is in itself an absorbing experience. To have loved and cared for three is being thrice blessed. The differences in their personalities is in itself a study worthy of one's effort.

Our first experience with a bird came as our son returned from college after his second year, bearing with him a plastic cage. Containing 'HUGO', who was undaunted after six hundred odd miles of riding in a car containing five college students and a motley load of luggage. His dormitory life had stood him in good stead.

I didn't at once learn of his exotic tastes. Apparently he was on his good behavior for a while. Before too many months I discovered he was educated to the point where he preferred eating my orchid cactus plants for greens, and also my favorite vine which he plucked off above the soil in the pot, as short as any flock of sheep will nibble a pasture. My cactus plants are just now recovering. The kitchen was the only safe place to give him any liberty.

His chattering splurges always came at mealtime, when we were also ready to chatter. A few dour scowls from the head of the house and Hugo, cage and all, was banished to the kitchen. After all, some of us valued Hugo's hapless head.

For a little over two years he brightened our home with his charming personality. Then came the morning in September when our young student was leaving home again. One of the younger children unwittingly opened his cage door. In the turmoil of packing the car, with the house doors invitingly open Hugo decided to venture into the wide, wide world.


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