Flight (series #3)

Three simple words would change my life forever: Nacho flew away.

Nacho is a parrot that I inherited from my friend Rob. Rob and his family were moving out of hell and they couldn’t take the bird, my daughter and I are bird lovers and after our last bird passed we both said “Never Again.” Then came Nacho. I now know “never again” is a translation for “until the next time”.

He spent the first 2 years of his life being passed from one crack house to another, by the time we got him he was far gone into madness which is common among parrots. He had been so neglected and abused that he could not stand to be handled and would pierce a thumbnail to prove it.

My daughter is a natural born animal trainer and by day three he was doing tricks, speaking and would lay on his back ontop of her head. Getting a bird to lay on it’s back is the hardest trick to teach, it requires complete trust between the bird and the handler.

Nacho had finally found a heart that he could love, and that heart loved him back. She named him Nacho because he would do backflips for cheese, and this unlikely pairing brought my daughter and I together for the first time. We started talking to each other instead of yelling, seems that parrot taught us a few tricks as well.

I buried Rob on my birthday three years ago, he passed in his sleep and my heart began to love this odd little green parrot even more, my last gift from Rob.

We had Nacho for two years before I noticed he was slipping away, he had his human companions but we were no substitute for the real thing. Another friend gave me a pair of cockatiels and they hated him. It broke a small piece of my heart to see this magnificent creature hiding in the corner of his own cage, shivering with his eyes closed. I broke down and purchased a female parrot that we named “Tequila”. The two have been inseparable since Thanksgiving of last year.

My daughter went out of town for the 4th of July weekend and it was a vicious, angry parting. After she left one accident lead to another and Nacho and Tequila flew out the front door into the great unknown. I found Tila immediately (I call her color “Creation”) but Nacho is all green with red under his tail feathers. I spent the next 30 hours searching for him and calling for him, I didn’t sleep, I couldn’t.

My daughter arrived home on Sunday, I told her “Nacho flew away” and that is when I realized, as my daughter dropped to the floor in hysterical tears, that Nacho is truly the beating heart that holds this family together. It wasn’t until the next night that my fictional words from “The End of Time” would come back to haunt me in ways I thought I could only imagine.

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