I guess you could say I’m lucky to be alive. In fact, that’s how I got my name. Let me explain.
I was just a little guy–only two weeks old–when I fell out of a tree in Ocean Beach, California, in 2006. I stumbled around a little, trying to find my way back. But I didn’t realize that for a bird who doesn’t know how to fly, there was no way that what went down would ever go back up again. I was scared and hungry, and then I stepped in some tar that was gooey because of the San Diego summer sun.
Why am I here?
But then things got better. My human, Terry Wilson, found me, just as a big scary cat was eyeing me. I thought I was a goner for sure, but Terry scooped me up and took me into his house. I didn’t know it at the time, but Terry not only didn’t know how to take care of birds, he was scared of them!
I looked straight in his eyes, hoping he would understand the question I had in my head: Why am I here?
He must have understood, because he said, “You can stay until you feel better.”
I was relieved, but I was also still hungry, thirsty, and had tar all over my feet. Terry tried using an eye dropper to give me water with vitamins in it, like the man at the bird store recommended. But I didn’t know at the time that it was good for me and I didn’t understand that I was supposed to drink it. I thought he was trying to drown me! Terry didn’t know that’s how I felt; he just knew I wouldn’t drink. He also knew I wasn’t going to last long if I didn’t, so he came up with another plan: he held a grape up to my mouth. I sure liked the way it smelled, so I poked my tiny beak into it. It was juicy and I really liked it, so that’s how Terry got the first liquids into my body.
I love shoes
Next, he had to get the tar off my feet. Using tweezers and a fingernail file, he slowly, carefully, got it all off. That felt so much better! But I think he was still worried about me. He converted part of the downstairs of his house to a bird playground for me and even slept down there with me. Over time, he taught me how to eat more than grapes. Sometimes I even eat his shoes. He says he doesn’t like it when I do that, but I like the way they feel on my beak, so I do it anyway. He buys me expensive little shoes from the bird store to chew on, but they don’t last long.
That first day when Terry promised I could stay just a short while, he didn’t know that the man at the bird store was going to tell him I’d die if he tried to put me outside. So here I am, all these years later, still with my human Terry. He’s been joking with me for years that I have to start earning my keep. And now I do, so I hope you enjoy my books!