Old World Aviaries

An Amazon story

Author unknown

If you have a minute, I wanted to pass along a story that was told to me last week by a friend of mine. It is rather amazing, and the woman swears it to be true, even had tears in her eyes as she relayed it.

The woman who told me the story is probably crowding 80 (but I am not good at estimating ages). Her mother is 100, so I'm guessing. Her name is June. She is a gentle woman with piercing blue eyes and a curt British accent. She is a dog groomer and trainer and also runs a bird sanctuary. She calls it that, she takes in unwanted birds, often finds them a mate by matching it with another unwanted bird, and they live there. She sells the babies (if any) to pay for expenses. She has several parrots as pets and takes boarders.

Okay, to the story. She was working at the pet store, doing the free nail and wing trims she does there on Saturdays, and we got to talking. We got on the subject of Amazons and she told me this tale. She cried as she got near the end, so I don't doubt it.

A while back, a couple years or so, she got a call from a woman, asking if she could possibly take in a Double-yellow-headed Amazon Parrot. June, always willing to help, said yes, even though the bird in question was about 80. The bird's owner had to be placed in a nursing home, and the daughter (who called) was not able to take the bird, but wanted it to go to a safe place.

June took in the bird, who was arthritic and had a hard time perching or extending its wings. She made the bird a soft place atop a TV set, where the old bird happily stayed. June's mother watched TV (which provided heat) and talked to the bird. One day the bird sang a few lines from an aria, pleasing June's mother immensely, as she was an opera singer. Off went the TV, and the two old "women" spent their time happily crooning opera songs to each other. They became attached to the bird, as it needed so much special care (sitz baths and such) due to it's advanced age.

They had the bird for 8 months or so, when one day it began having trouble. All of a sudden the old bird held her wings out and gasped for air. June knew that the bird was not in the best of health, and she held the parrot close to her as the parrot breathed it's last breath. The bird had an apparent heart attack, and died in June's arms. She was devastated, as was her mother.

June also realized she would need to tell the daughter of the original owner, that the bird had died. As she was coming to terms with the death of the bird and preparing to tell the daughter, the phone rang. It was her. She called, teary eyed, to tell June that her mother had just died of a heart attack in the nursing home.

The bird and its original owner died of the same thing at approximately the same moment. When the two women realized this their hearts were wrenched. A bit later in time, they went through the deceased woman's belongings and found pictures of her as a 5 year old, smiling, arm outstretched, the young Double-yellow-headed Amazon perched upon her arm. The two lifelong friends died together, even though they had to be apart. I'm sure they are together still.


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