I used to be a parakeet in a previous life

I have not met anyone, young or old, who is not amazed at how well I speak Parakeetinese. I am fluent in the budgerigar, aka budgie, aka parakeet, language.

How else could I have learned to speak its language? Sometimes I think it’s my native language.

I tell students that I was a parakeet in a previous life. I wonder why I sometimes don’t get called back to the same class.

I tell them about the little yellow parakeet I had in high school. Toby. I sometimes get yellow parakeet number one and yellow parakeet number two confused. I think Troy was my college and terrible twenties parakeet.

parakeetI tell the older kids how Toby fell in love with me. She would sit on my shoulder, and after a lengthy conversation, my not really knowing what I said to her, she would bob her head up and down and lightly peck me in the nose. If she were feeling especially affectionate, she worked on my ears. She would sing a little song, though the notes were too intrinsic for me to copy, as she gently cleaned my ears.

Troy also fell in love with me. I only realized this after I brought Wilbur home. Wilbur made the exact gestures to Troy as Troy and Toby had has done to me. In turn Troy got mean and screamed at him. I did not take advantage of learning how to swear in Parakeetinese.

My mom, or was it was sister Barbara , had blue parakeets. There were at least Peter one and Peter two. I remember we had a .45 album that said “pretty bird” over and over ad nauseam. (Did I really spell that wrong? adnauseam?) Neither Peters were interested in speaking English. Maybe it was the sentence. Maybe they did not know what being pretty meant or even if  they were pretty. Of course they knew it; parakeets spend most of their lives preening and primping. The mirror in the cage didn’t hurt their self-image either since they were adamant the reflection was a bird that had infiltrated their territory. Bird fight bird-reflection is not a pretty picture.

As I reflect upon how I learned how to speak Parakeetinese, I have a new theory. Since I was in my firmative and formative years, all the repetition of the Peters, I absorbed their language. What does it suggest that the same tactic didn’t work on the Peters but worked on me?

This is me when as a bird. I’m guessing I was ten or eleven.i

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