How My Parrot Has Made Me a Better Human

Thursday, December 15, 2016

beautiful african senegal parrot upclose
Adora was gifted to me. She is my first bird! I have seen and cheered with many birds, of friends and in my practice but I have never had one I called my own. It was obvious she came from the wild. She came in a tiny handmade iron meshy thing- they call it a cage! My pretty bird was androphobic. She also came with one of her flight wings clipped. She appeared weird to me, but still was the most beautiful thing I had set my eyes on. It didn't help that her head was unusually big, neither did it help that I laughed with exuberance every time she ran across the room criss-crossing with her zygodactyl feet.  She was an angel! A guardian I desired. She was perfect to me... my African senegal parrot... I'm a better human because of you❥❤💝😍

I called her Hud-hud! For some reason I always name my pets after the animals in the Qur'an and Hadith. Hud-hud was no different. Hud-hud was the hoopoe from the story of prophet sulaiman (Soloman A.S). I'd always said if I get a bird, I'd name her Hud-hud. After we figured she is female, my sister suggested we changed her name to something more feminine. She came up with the name "Adora". Adora is igbo for the first daughter of the people, it is also Latin for the beloved one, glory. It is portuguese for loves, spanish too... She is my first daughter, my beloved one, and she is first African, then igbo before she will be latin...or portuguese... or spanish.

Adora name meaning photo

Adora is a "free" bird. She is never forced to spend all her life confined to the round walls of a tiny crooked half-rusted filthy iron mesh of a blunder those parrot selling dudes call a cage! Aaaargghhhh! I'm so vexed just thinking about it. She is free to roam, screech, sing, fly if you can 'dora, poop everywhere (the potty training will come later). I love it! I love you!!

Meenah and Adora
Early days

We have the best bird-human relationship. She made me a part of her flock, I made her family. If we both could fly, we will fly at wing's span. As if we didn't already. 'dora isn't the talker. But she knows how to contact check and call me. I call back. I spend countless hours just talking to her. Will se ever learn to talk back? I know what she wants, I know when she wants, she knows me the same. I speak bird! She speaks back... strong intuition... I am her choosen human, the soul-mate. Regurgitate that food, i'd eat it!

Turns out 'dora is a little professor. The type you see at Hogwarts. She almost knows better at life than I do (well, from a bird perspective)...  If only she were human...

How exactly has my parrot, Adora made me a better human?

peekaboo senegal parrot
Staring at the world through my rear-view

• She taught me the fine art of self-reliance. Parrots are excellent creatures who rely on their self worth and intelligence for everyday survival. Yes they are social animals who take cover in a group but every parrot fights their own battle at the end of the day.

• She taught me Patience.
To get with a pretty bird you'll need a a whole lot of this baby. From taming to socialising to trust, and forward down to exposing them to new things and trick training. Every. Single. Move. requires a handful of patience.

•She taught me more kindness, as if I didn't have enough. Adora exposed me to the positive mental stimulation you can get by showing kindness and interacting with a life being.

• She said
"Socialization isn't such a bad thing after all"
For an ambivert like myself, I have days when I just want to be alone and days when I'm trying to burst my energy on human interaction. But I mostly do like my "lone time". Adora doesn't feel the same way. There is hardly anytime when she wants to be alone. As a matter of fact, she hates to be alone! If I ever leave, she is chattering away for me to return and if I don't, she is screeching her voice out. I often have to tell her "i'd be back soon" to keep her in a relaxed state for a short while.

• She said
 "why won't you just eat right?"
I have got a sweet tooth! I'm all junk and ice cream, chocolate, chewy-chewies and everything that turns up the glucose in my blood. Most of which is bad for my parrot, Adora. She runs up to take a bite off anything she sees me eat. She will crawl into my plate of food if she has to. I have to eat healthier to encourage her to eat her fair share of daily balanced meal. So yes to broccoli, cauliflowers, lentils, letuces, beans, peas, carrots, fruits and other earth blessings.
share a cracker with the parrot feathered friend
Polly wants a cracker
• She made me a better craftman. After spending lots of wades on parrot toys and stuff, or not even finding the toys/stuffs that you really need. No one will tell you before you start to Do-it-yourself. The dead creative zone/logical part of your brain starts to work again. Win-win.
Parrot on a DIY basketball perch
Err... I made this awesome basketball perch

• She said
 "stay strong, you're a warrior!"
Birds are masters at feigning good health. If you aren't very observant and if you aren't the professional, a sick bird will fool you to believing that all is well and hearty. Most people only notice that their birds are sick when it's almost too late. Birds do this so that they don't attract predators and enemies. It's basic survival instinct. In my own context, I'm staying strong, fighting my own battles, jediing through life even when I feel too weak to continue.

• She taught me to keep busy. After all, "an idle man is the devil's workshop". Adora is never not doing anything! She keeps busy, there is never a dull moment. If she isn't chit-chatting, she is looking for the next thing she can put her beak into and chew off. Or better still, preen and groom herself.

• She says

"who has time for procrastination? Do what needs to be done, do it now!"

As creatures of habits, and as creatures who are dependent on proper light cycle, there is no time to waste time. 'dora awakens as soon as the sun starts to rise, she climbs up to her perch before dark and does everything in between in a timely manner. 

• She says
"What do you mean you're not a morning person?"
A bird has got to eat! Wake up and fetch my breakfast"... and so, the early riser and the expect at making parrot chops I have become *sigh* 

• Stay happy Meenah, make some good noise. An happy bird is a noisy bird. The happy bird is beautiful from the inside-out. Did I mention how she also spreads happiness and makes everyone in the house super happy?

give me head scratches parrot
"Well... get on with the head scratches, human"

5 Important Life Lessons My Parrot Has Taught me

1. It is okay not to trust humans. Humans are complicated. Even those you think you trust can fail you. I don't blame the pretty bird if she is scared of men. I wonder what memories of them gets her to quiver. 

2. It's okay to be skeptical about change. If pretty bird likes to stick to status quo and feels that anything new could be a trap or a burden, she is right.

3. Analyse every damn situation. If you must succumb to change, analyse the damn situation. Well, Adora does.

4. If you hate something, do not pretend. You clearly don't have to pretend to like something if you don't. You are only doing yourself more harm than good by breeding pretence. Let the real you out. Adora does let the real out. Although she plays smart when she feels the need to punish me (for being a bird girl) with an unexpected bite.

5. Love yourself. Even though I know Adora is obviously just loving "the other bird in the mirror", I can't but admire her when she takes cue at it and grooms in front of it. She is loving herself, and so I am...

 ...for all the pretty birds I paint these words...

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