As the Bird Yearns…

As we return to our story, Jack’s ongoing courtship of Lily meets with a small success.

Today Jack called on Lily at her cage. He knocked at the door.
“Hello?” he said.
He entered; perhaps not the wisest move. Lily screamed at him. “AAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!”
Jack screamed back. Lily screamed louder. There was much flapping of wings.

Except for the words, and the tune, and the orchestral accompaniment, it was just like a rendition of “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better”, cockatoo-style.

Strong men blanched. Women fainted. Bats fell out of the rafters. Telephones rang unheard. Neighbours called the police. All right, I’m exaggerating about the neighbours.

Eventually Jack retreated to the top perch in the cage, while Lily sat on the floor of the cage and muttered to herself.

Is she relenting? Or just ignoring him and hoping he’ll go away?

Tune in to our next episode…

Welcome to the Hotel Animalia

One of the things we started early on in the life of the store was a boarding service. Several customers complained that if they went away, there was nobody reliable to take care of their bird, ferret, or – surprise – snake.
We said, “We can do that!”
We don’t board cats or dogs, but we’ve had snakes, lizards, birds, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs and fish. Yes, fish!

A gentleman came into the store a few years ago and announced that he had three discus which he’d owned for five years. He had to go to Europe on business, and he didn’t trust any of his family to be able to care for the fish. Would we do it?

We cleared a tank for his fish. Discus are a South American cichlid, and as adults they can be six, sometimes even eight, inches across. These three were almost five inches across, and beautifully marked. For two months we kept them, checking their pH daily.
Daily, and several times daily, we also had to tell people that they weren’t for sale. It’s the “instant gratification” gene – instead of buying a toonie-sized discus and raising it to adult size, people like to have the adult ones now.

We could have sold those fish ten times over in the time we had them. But we resisted, oh, yes. Their owner was delighted to find them alive and happy when he returned, and they’re still occasionally guests at the “Hotel Animalia”.

Other regulars are Kivi, a Senegal parrot, April, a sweet and gentle rabbit, and Eragon, a bearded dragon. Once or twice we also kept Cato, a Congo African Grey, whose vocabulary and obvious intelligence were impressive.

Oh, and you can check out any time you like.
But you’ll be back.